Colin Chaulk is playing so well right now, everyone needs heating pads to shake his hot hand.
The veteran Komets center scored two goals to extend his point scoring streak to seven games as Fort Wayne beat Muskegon 4-2 before 8,222 Memorial Coliseum fans. Chaulk has torched the Lumberjacks for four goals and eight points in four games this season. Though everyone kids him about his preference to pass and his reluctance to shoot, Chaulk has scored eight goals in his last nine games after scoring only one in the Komets' first 19 games.
``The puck is going in for him,'' Komets coach Al Sims said. ``He's getting things to the net, and he's got confidence in his shot. He's putting the puck where goal-scorers put the puck, right in the top corner. He's got a hot hand, and I think it's encouraging him to shoot more because the puck is going in for him.''
Currently, Chaulk also seems to be the only Komet who can consistently produce offense. During those seven games, the Komets have scored 23 goals and Chaulk has scored seven of those and assisted on eight others. Saturday night was a good example, as all four Komets' goals came from Chaulk's line with Konstantin Shafranov and Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock also scoring. In fact, Schrock had a Gordie Howe hat trick with a goal, an assist (on Chaulk's first goal) and a fight.
``It's easier when you're playing with Chaulker and Shaf,'' Schrock said. ``You just have to try to find the open areas, and they make things a lot easier.''
Rookie defenseman Bobby Phillips also continued his personal hot streak with two assists on his father's 51st birthday.
``He's showing some offense,'' Sims said. ``He's always been a great skater with the puck, but it's turning into offense for us now, which is great because any offense we can find, whether it's from the back end or the forwards, is big. Bobby's been doing it at both ends the last couple of nights.''
Partly because they were concentrating on defense against the International Hockey League's highest-scoring team, the Komets were out-shot 43-28. Tim Haun made 41 saves in the Fort Wayne net. It's the first time this season the Komets have been out-shot at home. The Komets had only 10 shots on goal through the first 30 minutes of play.
The win pulls the Komets within seven points of the Lumberjacks for second place and ties the season series between the teams 3-3. The Komets seem to be cranking up their typical post-Christmas hot streak and are 4-0-1 over their last five games.