For only the third time this season, the Fort Wayne Komets have a winning streak going, and they are so unused to it, they had to win the game twice to get there.
The Komets ended a three-game home losing streak with a dramatic 6-5 win over the Elmira Jackals before 7,313 Memorial Coliseum fans. Kaleigh Schrock scored a goal and set up three others, including J.M. Rizk's game-winning goal with 41.4 seconds remaining after the Komets had blown a 5-3 lead.
``I think Elmira kind of relaxed with 40 seconds to go,'' Komets coach Al Sims said. ``They should have known better because everything Kaleigh touched tonight or got to the net ended up in the back of their net.''
After going 22 games earlier without a goal, Schrock has been hot of late and has four goals in his last six games.
``I think when you start in a new leauge, he probably was questioning himself,'' Sims said. ```Am I good enough to play in this league? Can I do it?' I think it's starting to click in his head, `Yeah, I can play in this league, and I can help my team win.' ''
The Komets will go for three wins in a row on Monday night against Toledo in their traditional New Year's Eve game. The Komets are 37-13-5 all-time at home on New Year's Eve and have drawn more than 10,000 fans eight of the last 11 years. They have gone 9-0-1 in their last 10 New Year's Eve games.
Fort Wayne trailed Elmira early 1-0 after a goal by Kyle Bushee moments after a Jackals' power play had ended. Then some great forechecking by J.M. Rizk forced an Elmira turnover on another Jackals' power play. With Elmira goaltender Marc Cheverie scrambling to get back into his net, Kaleigh Schrock took a quick shot that hit Rizk in front of the Elmira goal.
After Elmira's Andrew Rowe scored, the Komets answered with their own power-play goal when Daniel Maggio scored after cutting down the slot. Schrock scored at the end of the second period to give the Komets a 3-2 lead after two periods.
The lead stretched to 4-2 and 5-3 in the third period on goals by Josh Brittain and Matt Firman both near the net. Then Elmira scored twice in less than two minutes to tie the game with 4:21 remaining.
The Komets kept skating and firing as Schrock set up Rizk. It's only the fourth time this season the Komets have scored six goals in a game, something no one would have thought possible a week ago after Ryan Lasch and Luca Caputi were recalled to Norfolk.
``Is that how many we had?'' a jovial Sims said. ``Usutally it takes us three games to get that. That was an outburst.''
The Komets are now 7-8 a home this season.