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Ice Chips

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    The Komets have aligned with the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and their American Hockey League team, the Lake Erie Monsters.
  • This is sad news
    Former Komets star Joe Kastelic, who once owned the record for most goals scored in the IHL, died Wednesday at 81. He skated for the Komets from 1953 to 1957 and then again in 1960-61.
  • Major signings for Komets
    The Komets bolstered their roster with a potential No. 1 goaltender, a former first-round NHL draft pick, a familiar face and player who should be popular with the fans.

The power of play

Last season, the Komets' power play was downright awful. With an efficiency of 13 percent, the Komets finished last among the ECHL's 23 teams.

That is something they desperately want to change this season, which opens Saturday at Memorial Coliseum against the Toledo Walleye.

In the preseason, when the Komets won 2 of 3 games, they went only 2 of 12 on the power play.

However, there was that beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play that culminated with a Matthew Larke power-play goal in Saturday's 6-2 victory over Wheeling.

"I was yelling for an 'up-front presence' – I was screaming my head off – and then all of a sudden, we make three back-door plays and it's in the net with one of the prettiest plays I've ever seen," coach Gary Graham said, laughing. "So I told the guys, hmm, maybe we don't need an up-front presence. If it's going to look like that, I can live with it."

He was joking, of course, and Larke wound up getting released Sunday anyway.

The Komets have been spending time this week working on their power play.

"I'll be honest with you, it wasn't something we'd practiced much (last week) because it's just not something you do during the week of training camp," Graham said. "There are a lot of other things you're putting in. But you could see the skill of guys like (Nick) Tuzzolino and (Bobby) Hughes. You could see the skill come out."

  • Here's an early heads-up: You want to buy the Journal Gazette on Saturday to get our special section previewing the season.

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at