Kenny Reiter is taking over for the Fort Wayne Komets.
The goaltender earned his second shutout of the season Wednesday night and won his fifth game in a row as the Komets beat Evansville 1-0. Mike Hoban scored halfway through the third period on an assist from Eric Giosa.
``He deserved it,'' Komets coach Al Sims said by telephone of Reiter's second shutout of the season. ``He had a really strong first period when we needed him the most, and then we got our legs under ourselves. He's feeling it.''
Reiter has been spectacular of late, winning seven of his last eight games and five in a row on the road. Away from Memorial Coliseum this season, the rookie has an 8-4-1 record with a 2.85 goals-against average and .915 save percentage.
Over his last nine games, he has a 2.22 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.
Hoban scored an odd goal. After Giosa dumped the puck in behind the Evansville net, Hoban picked it up on the other side just above the goal line and whipped the puck on net where it went between the legs of IceMen goalie Paul Karpowich.
``It was a misplay by the goaltender obviously but a smart play by Hoban to take the shot when he wasn't ready,'' Sims said.
The win pushes the Komets within two points of first-place Cincinnati in the ECHL's North Division and four points up on Toledo which comes to Fort Wayne on Friday. The Komets also maintained fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Cincinnati and Toledo have played two fewer games than the Komets.
The Komets have won five of their last six road games to improve to 12-6-2 away from Memorial Coliseum.
Fort Wayne was also playing one man short because of the recent call-ups to the American Hockey League. Earlier in the day on Wednesday, forwards J.M. Rizk and Brandon Marino and defenseman Ryan Hegarty were sent back to the Komets by Norfolk and will arrive today in time for Friday's game. The Komets got some help with the return of Daniel Maggio from Bridgeport before Wednesday's game.
Eventually, the Komets are going to have to make some moves to create roster space, but Sims said all the recent additions have played well.
``I think all of these kids we had at our camp are more confident now. They are used to winning and playing a lot and they are much more confident players now than they were in training camp,'' Sims said. ``The good thing is we have two games and then two games in two weeks so we've got lots of time to make some decisions.''