There is much to rave about after the Komets’ 3-1 victory tonight, which completed a sweep of the Quad City Mallards in a home-and-home series.
Let’s start with Brady Vail, who showed his speed and scored twice tonight. His second goal – the final goal of the game – saw him block a shot at the blue line, then take off down the ice to get a pass from Jason Binkley and score on a breakaway.
“We knew he had (20) goals last season (with Orlando) and is really known as a goal-scorer,” captain Jamie Schaafsma said. “So, guys like that, you know they’re going to score at some point. It’s nice to see him get a couple of goals out there. He’s looked good in both games.”
The Komets’ defense has been terrific. It has given up 52 shots and three goals in two games this season.
“I thought we really used our speed and moved the puck well,” said 2-0-0 goaltender Pat Nagle, “and we were really defensively sound. You didn’t see us give up too many chances. Especially tonight, we did a much better job of not letting them generate anything. The only time they did, they were off our own mistakes or with power-play opportunities. You saw a lot of guys sacrificing the body and blocking shots taking sticks out of lanes, it was awesome.”
And then there’s the toughness. The Komets fought three times tonight – Taylor Crunk took on Alex Gudbranson, Mason Baptista scrapped with Jack Nevins and Cody Sol tussled with Mike Monfredo – and while they may not have won the fights, that’s not really the point.
The Komets have been protecting their teammates – Baptista stepped in after Will Weber was hit and two players stepped in after a similar play later in the game – and they feel they are sending a message that they will protect their own and agitate opponents.
Of course, it’s just two games, against one opponent, and you don’t want to get too hyped because of it. But it’s a good start and, best of all, new additions have been contributing.
Binkley has four points. Rookie Mike Cazzola, who scored tonight, also has four.
And one of the biggest acquisitions, Bobby Shea, hasn’t played yet. Neither has Mike Embach.
What do you think so far? I can’t imagine Komets fans aren’t happy tonight.