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The Journal Gazette

Monday, December 21, 2015 8:41 pm

On the big Komets save, officiating

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

I get the skepticism that some readers had after the Komets’ 5-1 victory Saturday over the Brampton Beast. That team has not been good lately.

However, Atlanta has been one of the best teams in the league – especially on the road – so maybe the Komets are indeed turning things around. They got 21 saves from Pat Nagle tonight in a 4-0 victory over the Gladiators.

The biggest moment? The Nagle save on Garry Nunn’s wraparound attempt in the third period, which was soon followed by a Joe Perry goal for a 3-0 lead at Memorial Coliseum.

“For us, it was about getting the saves when we needed them,” Komets coach Gary Graham said. “And that save on Nunn in the third period of a 2-nothing game, that was one of the biggest saves I’ve seen in that spot. I thought Nunn had him beat clean. Nunn is one of the fastest, quickest guys with that wraparound play.”

It was the Komets’ third shutout of the season and the first for Nagle.

“(The wraparound) is a funny one because it doesn’t look like much sometimes, but it can end up being one of the tougher ones if you’ve got your momentum taking you one way and he flies around the net to almost use it as a screen or a blocker,” said Nagle, whose teammate, Spencer Martin, had shutouts Oct. 23 against Indy and Nov. 28 against Toledo.

It was an odd game in that referee Pierre Lambert didn’t call a penalty until 15:07 of the third period for too many men on the ice. That set up a power-play goal for Perry. The Komets were 1 for 2 on power plays.

You can tell, Graham thinks Lambert is maybe the best referee in the ECHL.

“Lambert is one of those guys who has complete control,” Graham said. “He’ll let you know right away he’s going to T guys up (translation: give them unsportsmanlike conduct penalties). If you don’t respect his crew, it’s going to be a long night for you. So really, for us it was about completely maintaining our composure and working for our breaks.”

By the way, Brett Perlini extended his point-scoring streak to seven games. Alex Belzile is on a five-game streak. Shawn Szydlowski’s streak ended at four games that included his Saturday hat trick.

jcohn@jg.net