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Komets defense adds tough, agitating presence


The Komets didn’t like playing against Craig Cescon last season. He was a menacing defenseman who agitated their top forwards in Fort Wayne’s Turner Cup Finals victory over the Flint Generals.

This season, the Komets are hoping Cescon will do exactly the same thing – to Fort Wayne’s opponents.

Cescon was one of the first players signed by the Komets last summer. He will try to irritate Arizona’s Mark Kolanos tonight and Saturday in back-to-back games at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, Ariz.

“He was the toughest defenseman for us to play against last season,” Fort Wayne coach Al Sims said. “He got in people’s faces, especially Colin Chaulk and P.C. Drouin. He’s good at intimidating people, drawing penalties. He’s tough, can fight and brings a lot to the table. He’s an intense competitor.”

Cescon, 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, a native of Mississauga, Ontario, had one goal, eight points and 195 penalty minutes in 76 games last season.

“I like to play physical, try to shut down their top guys and get them off their game, chip in any way I can,” said Cescon, 24. “Playing physical is my biggest attribute, so I try to bring that every night.”

The Komets, who are coming off a 4-0 loss to Rapid City in the CHL opener for both teams, envision Cescon assuming the role of the retired Kevin Bertram, who was a physical defenseman offensively skilled enough to work the power play.

“Craig definitely slides into that role,” Sims said.

Skating for the now-defunct Generals was sometimes an adventure. The financially strapped team was at the bottom of the standings most of last season and made a late run into the playoffs.

Remembering that, Cescon said he was blessed to be with the Komets.

“Obviously, it was a tough summer. We were that close (to the Cup), made that push toward the end of the season, but it’s a new season, and I’m just worried about bringing a championship to Fort Wayne,” Cescon said.