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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets celebrate a goal during the first period Wednesday against Wheeling. The Komets won 6-5. They play at Kalamazoo tonight.

  • Elmes

Friday, March 08, 2019 1:00 am

K's deal Crunk at trading deadline

Defenseman Elmes on way to Komets

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Komets at Kalamazoo

When: 7:30 p.m. today

Where: Wings Event Center, Kalamazoo, Mich.

vs. Toledo

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Memorial Coliseum

Radio: 1190 AM, 107.5 FM

There was a flurry of deals Thursday for the Komets, who acquired defenseman Josh Elmes and traded forward Taylor Crunk in a pair of three-team deals before the ECHL's trade deadline.

Elmes, 25, was acquired in a maneuver with the Rapid City Rush and Allen Americans. He had five goals and 19 points in 59 games this season for Rapid City, which sent him to Fort Wayne for forward Alex Rauter, who had come through the Komets to complete an earlier trade that brought the Americans goaltender Lukas Hafner.

Crunk, 24, who had two goals, three points and 126 penalty minutes in 40 games this season, joined Rapid City as part of a deal with the Orlando Solar Bears. The Komets owed Orlando for the early-season acquisition of Ryan Siiro, who is no longer with Fort Wayne, and the Solar Bears sent Crunk and Myles McGurty to Rapid City for Shaquille Merasty.

This was Crunk's fourth season with the Komets. He had four goals, 18 points and 318 penalty minutes in 118 Fort Wayne games.

Earlier in the day, Fort Wayne got Phelix Martineau back from Laval of the American Hockey League, on the heels of the Komets losing Brady Shaw to Chicago of the AHL late Wednesday.

Martineau has eight goals and 14 points in 13 games this season for the Komets. In 25 games with Laval, he had four assists, but he'd been scratched in six of the last 14 games.

Laval still has Marco Roy called up from Fort Wayne.

As for Shaw, he had eight goals and 25 points in 31 games for Fort Wayne, and 21 goals and 50 points in 54 games combined between Fort Wayne and Orlando this season.

The Komets (27-20-9) are seated in the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division heading into today's 7:30 p.m. game against the third-place Kalamazoo Wings (30-24-3) at Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Fort Wayne is coming off a 6-5 victory Wednesday at Memorial Coliseum over the Wheeling Nailers, one that had coach Gary Graham again frustrated with his defense, which coughed up a late 6-3 lead and now ranks 24th out of the ECHL's 27 teams with 3.61 goals against per game.

“I can tell you what we work on (at practice) all the time and that's defense,” Graham said. “You wouldn't think it (by looking), but we do – all the time, every practice. You wouldn't think it, but we do, and we'll continue to work on that and continue to work on the power play.”

The Komets have 16 regular-season games remaining to get their defensive lapses sorted out.

“When we have leads in games, we have to close out,” forward J.C. Campagna said. “Especially when you get in to the playoffs, you have to shut a team out once you're up – a step-on-their-throat mentality.”

jcohn@jg.net