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Tailing the Komets

Komets lose 4-1 to Flint

Flint goaltender Rob Nolan had a 6-8-1 record going into Sunday's game against the Fort Wayne Komets, but he showed why he is one of the International Hockey League's top goaltenders by making 35 saves in a 4-1 win.

``Nolan is for real,'' Komets coach Al Sims said. ``He's one of the top goalies in the league. They played well and got great goaltending.''

A night after scoring a season-high seven goals at league-leading Muskegon, the Komets couldn't find much offense against the Generals who are 8-5-2 at home despite being 2-12-1 away from Perani Arena. Despite getting three power plays and out-shooting the Generals 15-6 in the second period, the Komets managed only one goal behind Nolan and trailed 2-1 going into the third period.

The Komets out-shot the Generals early in the third period, but Flint's John Mori and John Ronan scored 1:26 apart three-fourths of the way thorugh to wrap up the game.

``In the second period, they had one chance to score and they scored,'' Sims said. ``When it was 2-1 in the third, Nolan made some unbelievable stops and kept it there. We had some chances tonight, but we just couldn't get it done. Especially on our last power play we had all kind of chances, but Nolan came up big.''

Despite his losing record, Nolan came into the game ranking fourth in the league with a 2.38 goals against average and first with a .926 save percentage.

The only goal from the Komets came from Sean O'Connor at 8:25 of the second period off assists from Colin Chaulk and Konstantin Shafranov. The assist extended Chaulk's streak to 11 points over five straight games, including four in Saturday's win at Muskegon. Chaulk's line of Konstantin Shafranov and David Hukalo combined for three goals and eight points on Saturday.

``I think it's a big thing to have two good puck handlers on the line with him,'' Sims said. ``He's the finisher on the line right now and we need him to keep it up. I think his intensity has picked up quite a bit. He's a winner and he doesn't like to lose. He's back to playing the way he does when he's in that frame of mind. He's working his butt off and it is producing the results.''

Hukalo was unable to play Sunday because of a strained back muscle. The Komets also played the weekend without forward Tomas Klempa who was unable to return from a Christmas trip to Omaha, Neb.

Sunday's game ended a stretch of four-straight road contests for the Komets with a 2-2 mark. They are 15-10-1 overall for 31 points and trail first-place Muskegon by 10 points.

THe Komets play six of their next 10 games at Memorial Coliseum starting Tuesday against Dayton. After a road game at Dayton on Wednesday, the Komets will host Bloomington for New Year's Eve on Thursday.

Posted in: Komets


Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 12/27/2009 - 7:53pm

Rob Nolan is the bestest goaltender in the league.....

Gotta love that thought.....

I guess you could say that after every game you score 0, 1, or 2 goals in.

Not the end of the world that they lost....

Would have been nice to follow-up a nice win at Musky with a win at Flint. Oh well.

Sun, 12/27/2009 - 8:13pm

Nolans play does not surprise me. While at Michigan Tech he regularly faced a dozen quality scoring chances a game because Techs defense was one of the worst in major college hockey. You could not measure his talent by his won/loss record there and you can't do it while playing in Flint. Put him behind even a mediocre defense and he will steal you games.

Sun, 12/27/2009 - 8:18pm

This is the type of game that has frustrated the komets all year. They play the leading team in the league and put 7 goals on the board against another top goaltender then come right back and struggle against a team they should beat. The next 10 are very important with 6 being at home. They need to get on a roll, to close to the 10 point gap with Muskegon.

Frozen Water
Sun, 12/27/2009 - 9:17pm

Unfortunately it looks like I can't eat my words or take the "I told you so" to heart yet... Please, please, please Komets, make my criticisms be wrong. Usually when I criticize a team they take off and make me look bad. DO NOT BE DIFFERENT, KOMETS!!

Blake Sebring
Sun, 12/27/2009 - 10:27pm

BTW, happy birthday to both Wendy and Shutterbug!

Mon, 12/28/2009 - 2:09am

Thanks Blake. So far, this is the oldest I've ever been. :S

Mon, 12/28/2009 - 5:29am

Wendy-- Tomorrow you will be older than today! I hope that helps you out. Time just keeps marching on. :)

Mon, 12/28/2009 - 8:57am

The problem with losing the game at Flint is that the game was one of the "games in hand" with Muskegon. They lost the opportunity to creep two points closer. It is terrific that the K's put up seven against Muskegon and even the five they posted at Bloomington (in a losing cause), but I still think they need another sniper and another physical player.

Mon, 12/28/2009 - 12:04pm

how long will huk be out?

Mon, 12/28/2009 - 1:42pm

Blake, here is a question for you. I had some time today so I decided to go to the AHL website. I wanted to check on the statistics of Syro with Norfolk, Jimmy Bonneau with Rochester, and Pascal Morency with Bridgeport. While checking their rosters I noticed that there was quite a difference in the number of forwards each team listed. ( I mean one team had like 16 forwards on the roster). My question is this, do you know or could you find out the number of roster spots that the AHL allows? I know some of these guys might be in the NHL but it sure seems odd. I know why Bonneau is with Rochester and his penalty minutes show it. I'm not sure about Morency and Syro as their point totals don't seem to be AHL "worthy". Maybe I would just like to see Syro back here too much to make a logical vs. emotional decision. I also wonder how many minutes of playing time he is averaging. Thanks in advance.

Mon, 12/28/2009 - 1:51pm

I'll help.... Morency is Bingham's boy, plain and simple... Bridgeport have like three fighters/pests that are all about the same size as Morency that just fly around and piss off other teams... The fans love those guys...Morency, Gillies, and Haley. Looks like they take turns, you normally dont see all three in the lineup at the same time.

Syro has all the attributes of a bigtime forward minus the foot speed. You dont find that many guys his size with great hands that are good around the net. He's been getting 3rd and 4th line minutes and Norfolk loves him, they just wish he had better feet...(the reason he hasnt signed a full time deal, IMO)

Frozen Water
Mon, 12/28/2009 - 3:06pm

I'm just glad I had the opportunity to see Morrency play here in the Fort since I missed out on the Fletcher years. He was always my favorite when he was here. Morrency was just like a laser-guided missile when he was released onto the ice and you knew someone was going to get lit up within seconds when he was unleashed. It'd be nice to see something like that again sometime soon from another player in the Orange and Black.

Mon, 12/28/2009 - 5:04pm

Thank you Blake, I am greatly enjoying my 35th Birthday.

Regarding the game last night: Flint's goalie Nolan did play well. The Komets had quality shots-on-goal but in the words of my 7-year-old nephew "If they could remove the guy in net, they would have won."

Congrats to Schrock on being the IHL's Rookie of the Week!

Blueline Baby
Mon, 12/28/2009 - 9:27pm

Shutterbug, I like your nephew's way of thinking. He's a smart kid! LOL....Happy Birthday to you.