To make room on the roster, the Komets placed Stephon Thorne and Brayden Metz on waivers and placed Charlie Effinger and Dan Nycholat on reserve.While everyone is busier during the holidays, no one has a tougher schedule than a hockey player.
The Komets are in the midst of playing nine games in 14 days as part of 15 games in 24 days.
``We have the same routine and we approach every game the same way to get prepared,'' forward Thomas Beauregard said. ``We're not trying to think about that many games, we're just going day by day. Of course, you need to drink and hydrate yourself. You have to take care of your body.''
As Beauregard said, with that many games in so few days, each potential hour of rest is important. It's also good preparation for when the players may face a similar schedule with rougher travel during the playoffs. That's just the life of a hockey player.
``I think at this level, guys have enough mental preparation and professional responsibility that they know what they need to do to take care of themselves,'' Komets athletic trainer Shawn Dundon said. ``The younger guys learn more from the older guys.''
The team will get a break for the ECHL All-Star Game from Jan. 22 to 24. They play only one game that week, Jan. 26 at Evansville. After that, the Komets play four games in five nights only once the rest of the regular season.
``You have to be careful how hard you work your team in certain areas of the year,'' Komets coach Al Sims said. ``With us going through this stretch here, you have to be careful that we don't exhaust them ... and they have nothing left.''The ECHL All-Stars will take on the Colorado Eagles on Jan. 23 in Loveland, Colo. A fan fest held Jan. 22 will include a skills competition between the Eagles and the All-Stars.
According to the league, not every team will be represented on the All-Star team. The starters will be announced today and the rest of the squad Thursday.
But there's little doubt the Komets' representative will right wing Brandon Marino. He leads the team with 40 points and is one of only three players who have played in every game. (The others are Tyler Butler and J.M. Rizk). Marino has also ranked among the league's top 10 scorers the entire the season (he's currently fourth) and is third in assists with 30.
Other than Marino, the Komets do not have any players who rank among the league leaders except for Daniel Maggio and Brent Henley being first and second in penalty minutes.Because of the lockout, you may think the Stanley Cup would've had a sparse schedule of appearances so far this season, but it's been traveling almost every weekend, according to Hockey Hall of Fame Curator Phil Pritchard. He and the cup were in Kalamazoo last Friday night.
``From when hockey starts in October until early January, we try and do a lot of the minor league teams and the junior teams,'' Pritchard said. ``Then, that's when the NHL teams do some of their charities and more of the NHL stuff happens in the new year. I think what is great right now is we get to see the fans of the minor pro teams and the junior teams and their reactions to the cup and it's awesome.''
The cup doesn't stand as the standard for only NHL fans but for every hockey fan regardless of level. That won't change, even with the lockout.
``I think it has affected every hockey fan, and hopefully when all is said and done it's solved and hockey comes back stronger and stronger,'' Pritchard said. ``We're standing here in Kalamazoo right now at ice level, and we've got a crowd of people around the cup, and we're all talking hockey. It's a great thing. It's what every kid puts on skates and picks up a stick for. It will always be that. It is what hockey is played for.''Monday's 9-4 loss to Toledo was the most goals the Komets have allowed at home since Nov. 18, 2005, against Muskegon. ... The last time the Komets gave up nine goals in a game, Dec. 28, 2007, against Flint, they came back the next game to score nine against the Generals. ... Brandon Marino and Eric Giosa both have six-game point-scoring streaks going. ... The first 1,000 fans through the door Friday night will receive a Kaleigh Schrock bobblehead from the Komets and Source One Solutions. ... After this stretch of games, the Komets will have 15 road and 14 home games remaining. ... They will play three games in three nights only three times. ... After Sunday's game against Orlando, the Komets play 11 consecutive games against North Division foes. ... Of the 40 games remaining, 26 are against North Division teams. ... The Komets and Toledo are 11-9-1 so far against North Division teams, Cincinnati is 10-5-1, Kalamazoo is 11-11-3 and Evansville is 8-8-3.
OnlineFor more on the Komets, follow Blake Sebring on Twitter at www.twitter.com/blakesebring and at his blog, www.tailingthekomets.com.
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