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Komets

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Great saves, OT goal, fights

The Komets won in overtime again, 4-3 over the Greenville Road Warriors, on Nov. 16, 2013. Check out the goaltending, the goals and the rough stuff.

Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Komets goalie Andrey Makarov makes a save in the second period Saturday, one of 40 he made against Greenville.

Heart Attack Kids strike again

Coach Gary Graham suggested his Komets be called “The Heart Attack Kids.”

Really, they’re consistently inconsistent.

But they’re also on their first three-game winning streak and are above .500 for the first time this season.

A night after twice blowing leads and then winning in overtime, the Komets one-upped themselves Saturday against the Greenville Road Warriors.

The Komets coughed up one-goal leads three times before Mickey Lang fought his way through a scrum to get to the puck and score 1:26 into overtime for a 4-3 victory in front of 7,872 fans at Memorial Coliseum.

“A lot of credit goes to Brandon Marino because he kept jamming, jamming, jamming (at the puck) and both of those (defensemen) went to him. Then, I was open all alone. It didn’t go in nicely, but it went it,” said Lang, who sent a knuckling shot off the goaltender and into the net.

The Komets also got a goal from forward Scott Fleming and two from Bobby Hughes, who scored twice in Friday’s 5-4 victory over the visiting Toledo Walleye.

The Komets (5-4-2) have held a lead in 10 of their 11 games this season.

“I feel like we jump on teams early on and then something changes where they shift and gain the momentum on us,” Lang said. “Right now, we’re coming back. But hopefully we come to the point – hopefully sooner rather than later – where we can just close teams out and step on their throats and get out of there early.”

The Road Warriors (4-7-2), who have gotten all of their points on the road by going 4-3-2, got goals from right wing Brandon Hynes, defenseman Lee Baldwin and defenseman Sam Klassen, who tied it at 3 at 13:09 of the third period.

“I kept telling the guys to stay positive,” Graham said. “It wasn’t that we were playing bad. The third period, they took it to us because the momentum had shifted, but we found a way to get it done.”

An interesting subtext to the game was that both goaltenders, Fort Wayne’s Andrey Makarov and Greenville’s Connor Knapp, are prospects of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.

Last week, both of them worked with, and were evaluated by, the Sabres’ roving goaltending coach and scout, Seamus Kotyk, who was among the 7,872 people watching Saturday.

He saw Makarov, a 20-year-old rookie, stop 40 of 43 shots. Knapp, a 23-year-old second-year pro, stopped 35 of 39.

Notes: There was a second-period fight between Fort Wayne’s Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock and Sean Berkstresser. In the third, Schrock and Andrew Carroll got in a shoving match and Carroll was ejected, while Schrock got a 10-minute misconduct, as they both tried to break away from the officials to fight. … The Komets played without Tristan King (back/wrist), Jeremy Gates (ankle), Shawn Szydlowski (groin), Simon Danis-Pepin (head) and John Dunbar (healthy). … John Muse, who started the season as Fort Wayne’s No. 1 goalie before being called up to the AHL, is 3-4-0 with a 2.36 goals-against average and two shutouts for Charlotte.

jcohn@jg.net

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