FORT WAYNE – Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock hadn’t endured such a goal-scoring slump in his professional hockey career, which began in 2009 with the Komets.
He was without a goal the first 22 games this season, including one in which he was a healthy scratch, but the Fort Wayne-born alternate captain has been on a tear lately with three goals in six games.
Asked if he feels some sense of relief, Schrock said, Not really.
That’s because the Komets are 2-3-1 in those six games, dropping them to an unimpressive 14-12-2 mark in their first ECHL season.
The goals, I knew they would come if I got to the net and worked hard, said Schrock, 28, who had 47 goals in his first three seasons with the Komets.
Scoring isn’t his forte – he prioritizes hitting and defense first – but the Komets still needed some offensive production from him. Now they are getting it.
It’s just frustrating to score and lose the game, said Schrock, whose team takes on the Toledo Walleye (16-12-1) tonight at Memorial Coliseum, in the first of four games in five nights.
It just goes to show you it’s not everything. You’ve got to play the other parts of the game to be consistent for the team to win games sometimes.
The Komets have won back-to-back games only once since Nov. 9, and management clearly is perturbed at the production of the players, including those who have been sent down by Anaheim of the NHL and Norfolk of the American Hockey League.
If you’re going to be successful, whether it be as an independent team or one that has six or seven players (from the parent club), everybody has to buy into the program. And I don’t think we have a total buy-in right now, Komets president Michael Franke said on WOWO 1190 AM.
When you have a guy on your team, you’re playing for the crest on the front (of your jersey); you’re not playing for the name on the back.
Schrock was ecstatic that, last week, coach Al Sims reunited him with Jean-Michel Rizk and Stephon Thorne.
The Redrum Line – named after a plot point from The Shining – was instrumental in shutting down opposing star forwards en route to the CHL championship last season.
It’s nice that we’re chipping in, and I definitely feel comfortable playing with Rizk and Thorne, Schrock said.
I know we didn’t get off to a great start offensively at the beginning of the year, but I still thought we played well together even though we weren’t scoring. It’s nice to play with the guys you’ve had success with in the past. We feel confident when we are on the ice.
The line was reunited last Friday, when the Komets won 5-3 at Kalamazoo, Mich., but Fort Wayne lost 5-2 to visiting Trenton at the Coliseum on Saturday.
Still, Schrock said it took no time for he and his linemates to become re-acclimated with one another.
No, it was just like that, Schrock said. You miss something for so long and then you get back together and you feel confident, and that’s what it was.
Notes: Ryan Lasch, who had six goals and 15 points in 12 games, and former NHL player Luca Caputi, who had five goals and 10 points in 10 games, were recalled to Norfolk of the American Hockey League.
The Komets released defenseman Tim Priamo before he even skated a game with the team. He was acquired last week from Wheeling for future considerations.