Komets forward Ryan Lasch was named the ECHL's Player of the Week on Tuesday, the first Fort Wayne player to receive the honor this season.
Lasch scored four goals and five assists in four games last week as the Komets went 2-1-1. His week included three assists in the Dec. 12 win over Kalamazoo and a hat trick in the 6-4 loss Friday at Reading.
After being held scoreless in his first four games in Fort Wayne, Lasch has 14 points in his last seven games.
Long time, no see
Though they are in the same division, Wednesday will be the first time this season the Komets and Cincinnati Cyclones will face each other. In fact, the teams will play eight more times this season, including five more times in Fort Wayne.
The Komets used to be longtime rivals with Cincinnati teams. When the Komets started in 1952, the Cincinnati Mohawks were in the midst of running off five consecutive International Hockey League titles. That rivalry lasted until the end of the 1957-58 season.
The Cincinnati Cyclones joined the IHL for the 1992-93 season, and that rivalry lasted until the Komets left the IHL at the end of the 1998-99 season. The main highlight of that rivalry came during the 1994 playoffs when the Komets knocked Pokey Reddick and the Cyclones out in the semifinals.
When friends fight friends
Last Friday night, former teammates Kaleigh Schrock of the Komets and Bryant Molle, now with Reading, squared off in the first minute of the game. How did this happen? After all, they were teammates on last year's Central Hockey League championship team.
``Before every game last year, we had this thing where I would tell him a song title and his job was to come up with the meaning for it,'' Schrock said. ``When I saw him in warm-ups Friday night, I said here's your song, `Eye of the Tiger,' meaning Balboa's coming for you!''
Schrock laughed at that, but Molle already had his gameface on. After the Komets scored quickly to open the game, Schrock and Molle just happened to be on the ice together for the next faceoff.
``He asked if I wanted to go, and I said, `Yeah, I guess,' '' Schrock recalled.
So the two dropped their gloves and fought. Schrock had the early advantage, and Molle ended up on top at the end.
Molle texted Schrock after the game. According to Schrock, the text said, ``I can't believe I let you gget inside me with that little duck move.''
Does this mean they are no longer friends?
``I have a lot of respect for him, and we are still friends,'' Schrock said. ``It was just hockey.''
Legends game coming up
The Toledo Walleye will host a legends game before the Komets' game there Feb. 17, challenging the Komets' legends. The game will start at 2 p.m. before the current teams face off at 2 p.m. The Walleye will offer a special ticket price for the two games.
More details will be announced later. There will not be a legends game in Fort Wayne this season.
Already off to its best-ever start, the sixth annual Komets Kare Package to support Indiana service members continues tonight and concludes Saturday. All items will be donated to Hoosiers Helping Heroes, which sends monthly care packages to Indiana troops. Families can sign up their sons and daughters to receive care packages at hoosiershelpingheroes.org. There is also a new Facebook page for Komets Kare Package.
Suggested donation items include snack bars, any kind; men's deodorant (we have plenty of women's); jerky, any kind; popcorn, any kind; drink sleeves for bottled water; peanut butter or cheese crackers; Chef Boyardee in cans; chicken or tuna salad (with crackers in ready-to-eat packs); Pop-Tarts; breath mints; small candy bags; protein and granola bars; cans of fruit, any kind; small single-serving cereal, any kind; hot cider single-serving packets; and black knit socks and hats.
Strange but true
After only a third of the season, the Komets have already eclipsed last year's record when being outshot by an opponent in a game. Last year, they were outshot 17 times (9-7-1) for the entire season. This year they have already been outshot 18 times (8-9-1) after only 24 games. ... Kalamazoo played a forward line of Kory Karlander (age 40), Sam Ftorek (38) and Aaron Clarke (30) on Sunday against the Komets. Broadcaster Mike Modugno calls them the AARP line. ... Kalamazoo goaltender Joel Martin started his 10th consecutive game and 14th out the Wings' last 15 on Sunday.
Icing the puck
The Komets expect Eric Giosa to return to the lineup tonight after missing all but the first four games with an ankle injury. ... ECHL teams are not allowed to release or trade players from 5 p.m. Friday until noon Dec. 26 because of the Christmas holiday. Most of the players will leave for home after Saturday's game and won't have to report back until Dec. 26. The Komets host Toledo on Dec. 27. ... The next time the players and teams will have significant time off will be Jan. 22-24 for the ECHL All-Star Game in Loveland, Colo. ... The Komets had 11 players age 25 or younger in their lineup Sunday, and Kalamazoo had 11 players age 25 or older.