FORT WAYNE – The last thing the Komets wanted heading into their annual New Year’s Eve game was to still be slumping – especially since they’re 9-0-1 in their last 10 games on Dec. 31.
Today’s game against the Toledo Walleye will be the 56th New Year’s Eve game at Memorial Coliseum.
The Komets are 37-13-5 on New Year’s Eve and the last four games have had crowds of more than 10,000.
But the Walleye (17-13-2) has won three of five games against the Komets, including a lopsided 5-2 victory at the Coliseum on Thursday.
The Komets were able to build some momentum coming into tonight with a 6-5 win over Elmira on Saturday.
Fort Wayne will aim for its second three-game winning streak of the season tonight.
To score six goals, it feels good, forward Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock said after Saturday’s win, which gave the Komets back-to-back wins for only the second time since Nov. 9.
Saturday was also only the fourth time this season the Komets (16-13-2) have scored as many goals. And they did it without injured playmakers Colin Chaulk, Chris Auger and Matt Kennedy, plus Ryan Lasch and Luca Caputi, who were called up to Norfolk of the American Hockey League last week.
Especially with the other guys who got sent back up, I think it proves the guys we have here can score and if we play defensively, the chances will come, said Schrock, who had four points Saturday, giving him eight for the season.
In the last nine games, Schrock has four goals. Before that, he was scoreless in 22 games.
When you start in a new league, he was probably questioning himself and wondering, Sheesh, am I good enough to play in this league? Can I do it?’ coach Al Sims said. I think it’s starting to click in his head that he can play here and he can help his team win. He’s done a great job killing penalties and at the end of games, him and (Jean-Michel) Rizk and (Matt) Firman did an outstanding job.
Rizk, who had the final-minute, game-winning goal Saturday, has two goals and five points in his last six games, giving him five goals and 16 points this season.
The Komets also believe they have broken out of their power-play doldrums.
They were ranked last in the league Thursday at 12.6 percent but have scored on four of their last eight power plays in three games, and they have short-handed goals in back-to-back games.