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Komets heading into final weekend

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For 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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Komets at Kalamazoo
Face-off: 7:30 p.m.
Radio: WOWO, 1190-AM

Season awards presented after Saturday's game

Friday, March 29, 2013 - 11:04 pm

For the first time since 2002, the Fort Wayne Komets' season will end at the completion of the regular-season schedule on Saturday.

The Komets finish with a home-and-home doubleheader against Kalamazoo starting tonight at Wings Stadium. The final home game starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and will include the end-of-season player awards afterward.

Because management has promised massive changes for next season, this will also be the last chance to see many players wearing a Komets uniform.

It was trickier than normal picking some of post-season awards recently. Only the players get to vote on the Most Valuable Player, but here's how I voted on most of the award categories:

Most valuable player: Brandon Marino. He's been the most consistent player all year in terms of offense and effort.

Unsung hero: Nick Wheeler. What a revelation the rookie has been. A smaller player who doesn't back down, he also played forward and defense effectively.

Defensive forward: J.M. Rizk. There was a stretch when the team was struggling where he almost single-handedly pulled them out of it with his forecheck.

Best defenseman: Tyler Butler. No defenseman was asked to do more, and the younger defensemen all say the veteran helped them the most.

Mr. Hustle: Brandon Marino. Whenever he got into trouble with penalties, it was usually because he was trying too hard. Not a bad problem to have.

Rookie of the year: Kenny Reiter. The goaltender wasn't here at the end of the season, but he'll be what everyone remembers the most about this year.

Wiegmann Family True Komet: Brett Smith. He stood up for his teammates and himself inside the locker room and on the ice all season.

Most Improved Player: Ryan Hegarty. The rookie continually got better throughout the season to the point where he was one of the team's top blue liners.

Since I make the selection for the Bud Gallmeier Award for community service and exemplifying the spirit of the Komets, I did not include that selection in these picks. The player who wins that award was not one of my selections for another award.

This column is the commentary of the writer and does not reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. Email Blake Sebring at bsebring@news-sentinel.com .