The Fort Wayne Komets have the highest-scoring team in the International Hockey League, but Thursday night they showcased their defense in a 3-1 win over Flint. Goaltender Sebastien Laplante made 31 saves as he improved his record to 4-1-0.
The Komets are now 7-2 and are two points up on Muskegon for first place. The teams meet at 8 p.m. today in Memorial Coliseum.
After giving up 15 goals in their last three games, the Komets shut down the Generals, who are going through some changes. Thursday morning the team announced it was adding former Flint star Bobby Reynolds to the staff, naming him a co-coach with Peter South. The move didn't seem to help attendance as only 1,041 was listed for the game.
The Komets took the crowd out of the game immediately. With Flint's Jared Dumba sitting in the penalty box for tripping 39 seconds after the opening faceoff, P.C. Drouin scored his first of two goals at 1:13 on a power play with assists from Guy Dupuis and Colin Chaulk.
Mathieu Curadeau pushed the margin to 2-0 in the second off a pass from Dupuis, and Drouin scored his second of the game later in the period. Laplante lost his shutout with 7:00 left in regulation when Flint's Kyle Deck scored on a power play.
``We played solid defensively and Sebastien was awesome in goal," Komets coach Al Sims said. "The first goal is always huge on the road and it was huge to get us out front."
The Komets' biggest challenge came late in the third period when the Generals had 1:20 of two-man advantage power play. Sims said he sent out Chaulk, Dupuis and Kevin Bertram to help Laplante avoid too much trouble.
"We wanted a low-scoirng game and to get our defense going," Sims said. "One goal instead of five or six is much more desirable on the road."
Curdeau's 10th goal of the season tied him with Don Parsons of Bloomington for the IHL lead. Drouin has nine goals so far. Chaulk's two assists pushed him three points behind Muskegon's Todd Robinson for the league lead. Robinson has 21, Chaulk 18 and Drouin 17. Curadeau is tied for fifth with 16 points.
Before the game the Komets activated defenseman Jake Pence off the injured reserve list and signed rookie right wing Sean O'Connor.