The Fort Wayne Komets' familiarity with each other is blowing away the rest of the International Hockey League. Led by their returning veterans, the Komets beat the Bloomington PrairieThunder 7-4 on Friday, giving them 24 goals in three games.
"Everybody is chipping in and we're a much better team at this point than we were last year as far as scoring goes,” Komets coach Al Sims said. “Everybody is playing really well.”
This time Mathieu Curadeau was the star, scoring all three of the Komets' power-play goals, and Colin Chaulk passed four more assists to give him 10 in the three games. Defenseman Guy Dupuis had a goal and two assists, as did P.C. Drouin, and Konstantin Shafranov and Rick Varone each had a goal and an assist.
They key to the game was a five-on-three goal Curadeau scored at 14:02 of the second period to give the Komets a 6-3 lead. The goal came after Sims had called a time out to set up the play.
Referee Scott Bokal called the Komets for five straight minor penalties in the third period, but the penalty kill came through, holding the PrairieThunder to one goal in nine power-play chances. Goaltender Sebastien Laplante made 31 saves as Fort Wayne out-shot Bloomington 44-34.
Before the game, both teams gathered to honor the memory of former teammate Rob Guinn who died this summer. Proceeds from the game are being used to start the Rob Guinn Memorial Fund for his daughter Olivia's education. The International Hockey League donated $2,500, the Komets announced they are donating $1,000 per year for the next 15 years and the PrairieThunder and various Bloomington businesses donated $10,000.
The Komets are playing without regular defensemen Jake Pence (rib) and Brandon Warner (wrist), and leading scorer Dominic Osman missed the game with a foot injury. He was hit with a shot last week against Port Huron, and Sims said the injury has gotten worse. Osman had an MRI on Friday afternoon and the results will be read Monday afternoon, Sims said.
Forward Brad MacMillan also missed the game due to a family illness, but Sims said he hopes MacMillan will be able to play tonight in Kalamazoo.
To help fill in the roster holes, the Komets signed Fort Wayne-native Ryan Potts to fill in this weekend. He's the grandson of Komets legend Reggie Primeau who was released two weeks ago during training camp. Potts had no shots on goal in the game after just missing a goal in the second period on a 2-on-1 with Olivier Legault.
"He did OK,” Sims said. “He did a good job for us.”