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Ex-Komet Lang league's MVP


– Mickey Lang, who began the season with the Komets before demanding a trade, was selected the ECHL's MVP by coaches, reporters and media relations directors Friday.

Lang, a forward with the Orlando Solar Bears, had an ECHL-leading 44 goals and was third with 77 points in 61 games. That included 17 goals and 26 points in 24 games with the Komets, with whom he began the season before leaving the team Dec. 26.

Alaska forward Peter Sivak was the runner-up.

Fort Wayne's Brandon Marino, who led the ECHL with 88 points in 72 games, was third.

"I thought Marino deserved it," Lang, 27, wrote in a text message. "He had another great season."

Lang was traded to Orlando for David Rutherford, who didn't report to Fort Wayne, and future considerations that turned into Aaron Clarke.

The Komets, who won 2-1 in the opening game of their first-round series with the defending champion Reading Royals, continue the series tonight. Orlando is down 1-0 to Cincinnati.

"Marino had a great year and playing with him for a few games was awesome," wrote Lang, who defected from the Komets along with Mike Vaskivuo, who was traded to Elmira. "I wouldn't have had a good year if I hadn't played with (Marino) and Vaskivuo, and now I play with two of the best players in the league, Taylor Matson and Jacob Cepis."

Last season, Orlando was 28-37-7 and missed the playoffs. This season, the Solar Bears went 43-24-5, including a 28-12-4 record after Lang joined them Dec. 30, though he spent five games with the American Hockey League's Iowa Wild, too.

Lang was the first ECHL player to top 40 goals since 2010-11, when Wes Goldie had 46 and Mark Derlago had 45. Seven of Lang's goals were game winners.