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The Journal Gazette

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette As the Komets celebrate a goal, Indy's Matt Johnson grabs his head in disbelief Saturday at the Coliseum. 

Sunday, October 08, 2017 1:00 am

Komets 5 Indy 2

K's show toughness, get solid goaltending

Roy sparks victory in 2nd preseason game against Fuel

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Marc-Olivier Roy starred for the Komets in their 5-2 preseason victory over the Indy Fuel on Saturday.

He won a faceoff to set up a Gabriel Desjardins goal. He netted a short-handed goal, slipping behind the defense and firing a low shot just as Matt Rupert yanked him down from behind. And Roy finished the scoring by faking into a backhand shot that he put into the top of the net from the right circle at Memorial Coliseum.

It came on the heels of a 3-1 road loss to the Fuel on Friday. The Komets will finish their exhibition slate Monday at the Coliseum against the Kalamazoo Wings.

“I think we're looking pretty good,” captain Jamie Schaafsma said. “The new guys in are starting to adjust. Obviously, you can tell we're still trying to get acclimated to each other. Last year, I think we had a bigger group of returning players and that made it easy for us off the start to have our systems in place and stuff, whereas this year it's going to be a bit of a process and there's going to be some learning and teaching to be done so everyone's on the same page.”

So what else do we know about the Komets?

• The goaltending battle is just as tough as expected. With Michael Houser guaranteed a spot through the Komets' affiliation with the Arizona Coyotes, Garrett Bartus and rookie Alex Sakellaropoulos have gotten all the playing time. Bartus stopped 15 of 17 shots in the first 30:18 and he's stopped 28 of 30 shots overall. Sakellaropoulos, who foiled a breakaway by Brandon Anselmini seconds after entering the game, stopped all 16 shots he faced and has totaled 23 saves on 25 shots.

“It's tough. I've got a goalie in Michael Houser who obviously needs to play some games and we've got only one exhibition game left,” said coach Gary Graham, who hasn't used Sean Bonar in a game yet. “I thought both goaltenders played good tonight. Barts really kept us in it early, when we weren't very good, and I thought Alex played good tonight as well.

“I'm not going to tip my hand where I'm leaning, but it's going to be a very difficult decision.”

• The Komets have some toughness. Bobby Shea doled out a check that sent Anselmini skyward after he tried to go end-to-end along the boards. Desjardins fought Travis Armstrong. And Taylor Crunk used his physicality in front of the net to set up a goal.

“It's good to see some things, guys sticking up for one another, Desi not backing down,” Graham said.

• Roy has been the breakout player so far.

“He's a good skater. He's got a good stick and some really good vision, too,” Graham said. “He's a guy that can play in all three zones and the more centers we have, the better off we're going to be.”

• The Komets already have injury issues. That's why they added forward Phil Bushbacher on Saturday. Players are likely to come soon from the American Hockey League's Tucson Roadrunners, but Graham said the Komets aren't going to rest on their laurels for players “who might be here.”

jcohn@jg.net