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vs. Bloomington
When: 8 p.m. at Evansville
When: 8:15 p.m. Saturday at Missouri
When: 7:15 p.m. Sunday
Radio: 1190 AM

Offense hits stride for 1st-place Komets

The Komets would rather be the hunted than the hunters.

And now they are.

They resume play after the all-star break today at Memorial Coliseum against the Bloomington Blaze.

Thanks to an overtime victory in their last game, 4-3 over visiting Dayton on Sunday, they are atop the CHL standings at 22-9-1.

The Komets lead Wichita by one point.

“The target is always on your back when you’re on top, and I like it that way,” center Brett Smith said.

“Let them give us their best effort because it’s only going to make us better as a team.”

Smith scored a goal in Wednesday’s All-Star Game, and goaltender Nick Boucher stopped 36 of 39 shots in 1 1/2 periods, as the CHL All-Stars defeated the Arizona Sundogs 6-4 in Prescott Valley, Ariz.

“It was back and forth,” Smith said. “They had so many shots (75) because we were passing the puck back and forth so much. (Komets coach Al Sims) would have been having a heart attack on the bench were he here.”

Defense has been a constant throughout the Komets’ season; they rank second, giving up 2.66 goals per game.

The offense ranks second, too, with 3.66 per game, but it’s been less consistent.

After going three straight games with only two goals, the Komets have scored eight over their last two. Credit the re-emergence of Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock for that. He had three goals in the last two games, giving him five for the season.

“I know the easy goals are going to start coming if I’m in front of the net,” said Schrock, who totaled 35 goals in his first two seasons with Fort Wayne. “The beginning of the year, I got off to a slow start. But as long as I pay aggressive and physical, the offense will come.”

Schrock’s teammates have loved seeing him get back in the scoring column.

“Maybe a lot of weight has been lifted off his shoulders,” Smith said.

“He started to score some goals, and he’s having fun. And he works his butt off. As long as you’re getting chances, good things are going to happen.”

The Komets believe they have unsurpassed depth – seven players have at least 10 goals, more than any other team – and that it will help them in their run toward a championship.

“Whenever we get extra scoring from everybody, it helps,” Smith said.

“We’ve got a really great group of forwards and even our (defensemen) chip in (scoring).”

Bloomington is a league-worst 11-20-2.

The Komets have won three of five meetings between the teams.