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Komets may have two new goaltenders for Friday game

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Meisner meeting with doctors after collapsing in game

Friday, March 21, 2014 - 5:19 am

The Fort Wayne Komets will have at least one and possibly two new goaltenders available for Friday's home game against Gwinnett.

Komets General Manager David Franke said the team is bringing in one new goalie and may sign another before the game. He's not expecting to get Andrey Makarov back from Rochester of the American Hockey League, and he also doubts Ben Meisner will be available after collapsing halfway through Wednesday's 5-4 loss to Orlando.

``He feels much better,'' Franke said of Meisner. ``He's at a doctor's appointment this afternoon, and he'll have another doctor's appointment tomorrow morning with a different doctor. We're just going to take it from there. We just have to get everything checked out and see what the doctors say.''

Meisner fell to the ice twice halfway through the second period Wednesday night with an accelerated heart rate and dizziness. He was replaced by emergency goaltender Larkin Saalfrank.

Saalfrank and local junior goaltender Alex Zion practiced with the Komets this morning. Franke declined to identify either potential new goaltender, saying the contracts have not been signed or submitted to the ECHL. He said one goaltender will arrive in Fort Wayne tonight, and the other could arrive tomorrow morning.

Franke said he met with Meisner before Wednesday's game.

``I even saw him yesterday over at his apartment about 3 p.m. and he seemed fine,'' Franke said. ``He was having some coffee.''

Though the Rochester Americans announced on social media they were calling up Makarov late Monday afternoon, Komets coach Gary Graham said he was not officially notified of the move until Tuesday morning. That left the Komets scrambling to find a back-up for Meisner.

``We worked on it,'' Franke said. ``We were thinking about bringing guys up from the SPHL, but their teams are fighting for playoff spots. We figured for Wednesday night Larkin would be a safe bet to back-up, and we'd have another goalie in here in time for Friday through Sunday. We didn't have a lot of time but we felt comfortable with Larkin and that's why we went with him.''

Saalfrank, 22, is a Fort Wayne native and a former IPFW club player who played half a game this season with the Federal Hockey League's Danville Dashers in December. After driving all night from his job in New Jersey, he stopped eight of 10 Orlando shots on Wednesday.

The loss left the Komets two points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Division with 11 games remaining.