FORT WAYNE – With victories in three of their last four games, the Komets now have the sixth-best winning percentage in the 14-team Eastern Conference of the ECHL, and they are brimming with confidence.
When you are playing like this – we’ve won three out of four, and it’s four of six against some pretty good hockey clubs – I think we’re making a little bit of a statement here, said coach Al Sims, whose Komets are 12-9-1 for a .568 winning percentage.
The Komets are coming off a 7-3 victory over Kalamazoo at Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday night, and they play tonight at Reading, Pa. The Royals are 16-7-1.
That the Komets have done so well lately, splitting a pair in Gwinnett, Ga., and taking two of three in Orlando, Fla., is commendable since they have been without forwards Colin Chaulk (shoulder), Eric Giosa (ankle) and Matt Kennedy (leg), plus goaltender Marco Cousineau (groin).
On Wednesday, they also had the pressure of playing in front of Bob Ferguson, the assistant general manager of the American Hockey League’s Norfolk Admirals, who is in charge of developing players for the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks.
Obviously, they put on a great show for him, Sims said.
The Komets play at Wheeling, W.Va., on Saturday night before playing host to the Kalamazoo on Sunday. The Komets are four games into a stretch of 25 games in 44 nights.
We have to keep up our intensity and momentum from this game during the road weekend and get a couple of points here and keep moving forward, said forward Ryan Lasch, who has one goal and seven points in the last four games.
Linemate Luca Caputi has four goals in the last three games and Josh Brittain is coming off a hat trick, which included an empty-net goal.
It’s a tough stretch of games coming up, Brittain said. We have a pretty busy schedule before Christmas. Everyone is working hard. We’re doing the right things off the ice. Everyone is practicing hard. Our team right now is really pulling our game together and making sure we’re doing the right things on and off the ice.
Notes: Brent Henley has a streak of 11 straight games with a penalty minute, the longest such streak in the ECHL this season. Teammate Daniel Maggio has gone eight straight, which is tied for third. Tonight will be the first-ever meeting between Fort Wayne and Reading. For goaltender Kenny Reiter (5-4-1), this weekend will be a bit of homecoming. He hails from Pittsburgh, which is about an hour from Wheeling.