FORT WAYNE – When the ECHL All-Stars take on the host Colorado Eagles in the All-Star Game on Jan. 23 in Loveland, Colo., there will be only one Komets player among them.
That will be rookie defenseman Daniel Maggio, 23, who has four goals and 14 points in 32 games this season. Maggio was one of nine rookies selected by coaches to play in the game.
Maggio is a plus-6 for the Komets (17-14-2), he’s been a consistent checker and fighter and he leads league defensemen with 119 penalty minutes.
He’s one of our top rookies this year. He’s played very well for us, seems to have made the adaptation from juniors to the CHL to now the ECHL, Komets general manager David Franke said. I think the only negative about the season so far is he’s accumulated an awful lot of minor penalties, and that’s something he needs to work on. Other than that, he gets better every game, and we count on him to shut down the other teams’ better players.
Brandon Marino, who was the MVP of the CHL last season, and who has 10 goals and ranks fourth in the league with 40 points, was left off the team.
Among active ECHL players, he ranks second in points. He’s also plus-8 in 33 games and third in the league with 30 assists.
It would be nice to be recognized, Marino said before the all-stars were announced. But we have a lot of guys who are deserving of that honor. It’s one of those things; it would be nice to get it, but it’s not the end of the world. It’s fun to play in, but it’s nice to get a break also.
There will be a skills competition Jan. 22.
Among the other all-star selections were former Komets forward Chris Francis, who has 12 goals and 19 points for Las Vegas.
Tonight, the Komets play host to the Cincinnati Cyclones (19-10-2) in the first of three games in as many nights.
Fort Wayne is coming off a 4-2 victory Wednesday over Gwinnett, in which the Komets gave up a two-goal lead in the second period and then got the winner from newcomer Corey Elkins in the third period, followed by a Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock empty-netter.
The Komets, who have been outscored 47-36 in the third periods of games, were relieved they showed resiliency against the Gladiators.
It was huge for our team, Marino said. We’ve been struggling to score goals in the third periods at times, and we’ve let teams come back on us. We did a good job trying to play defensively, and we let our chances come to us and luckily buried one to win the game.