Komets notebook: National TV, being thankful and warm-up trend
Maybe they didn’t realize it because of all the screaming children, but the Fort Wayne Komets were part of a national network television show last week in Toledo. During the morning school-day game, the Komets and Walleye were filmed as part of an upcoming NBC sitcom called “A.P. Bio.”
According to a story in the Toledo Blade by Nicki Gorny, camera crews filmed scenes at the Huntington Center. “A.P. Bio” follows Ivy League philosopher Jack Griffin — played by Glenn Howerton of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia — after he loses out on his dream job and picks up a position as a high school teacher. Rather than teach his honor roll students the subject material, though, he opts to leverage them for revenge against those who have wronged him.
The series is set in Toledo because writer and executive producer Mike O’Brien grew up there. The A.P. Bio series pilot is set to air in early spring.
The Komets have played on Thanksgiving day every year since 1959, and they’ve hosted the game since 1962. They have an all-time record on the holiday of 37-19-4, including 35-17-4 at home. They’ve gone 11-3 over the past 14 years, including last year’s emotional 6-1 win over Kalamazoo after long-time broadcaster Bob Chase had passed away that morning.
The Komets are hosting their first annual Bob Chase Memorial Thanksgiving Game against Toledo.
“It’s a game I used to come watch a lot as a kid,” Komets coach Gary Graham said. “The history of what happened last year with Chaser and everything will be a palpable feeling for myself. If Bob had his way up in Heaven and he chose any opponent to come in and play on his game, it’d be Toledo.”
Take a deep breath
The Komets are currently 6-5-2 which is not what anyone hoped for. They are 4-5 so far in November.
During their previous four Novembers under Graham, the Komets have gone 7-6-1, 9-3-0, 5-6-0 and 5-4-2 for an overall mark of 30-24-3. However, during December they have gone 5-4-2, 9-2-1, 6-2-2 and 9-4-1 for an overall mark of 29-12-6. They should be just about to heat up.
Fort Wayne’s Blake Siebenaler is having a better season so far with the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters. As a rookie last year, Siebenaler had three goals and six points in 43 games, but he was also minus-14. This year after seven games, he’s got one point and he’s also plus-3.
Good job, Gratzy
How about the start Fort Wayne’s Brian Gratz has the Greenville Swamp Rabbits off to? The Swamp Rabbits finished second in the South Division last year in Gratz’s second season as coach, and this year they are off to a 9-4-2 start, including 8-1-1 over their last 10 games. Behind ECHL co-leading scorers Caleb Hebert and Allan McPherson, the Swamp Rabbits are second in the Eastern Conference standings.
Gratz and his team will visit Fort Wayne for two games in late-February.
Tailing the Komets
Thanks to his 46-save performance on Sunday, Michael Houser’s save percentage jumped from .872 to .891 and his goals against averaged dropped from 3.54 to 3.27 on the season… The Komets do not have any players among the league’s top 20 scorers or goaltenders so far this season… Kalamazoo has played only 11 games so far… Kansas City is 8-3-0 on the road but 1-3-0 at home… The Mavericks have been part of three schoolday games this season… Cody Sol leads the ECHL in plus-minus at plus-13, and Jason Binkly is third at plus-12. Daniel Maggio is third among ECHL defensemen at plus-9… Pat Nagle is off to the best start of his career at 10-0-2 with a 2.28 goals against average and .919 save percentage. Married life suits him… Gabriel Desjardins is second in the ECHL in shooting percentage with five goals on 13 shots for 38.5 percent… The Komets are allowing 2.5 goals per game at home, but 4.2 on the road… Sol has seven assists over his last five home games.