Michael Houser makes 40 saves in Komets win over Wheeling

Michael Houser

Goaltender Michael Houser is heating up, and so are the Fort Wayne Komets.

With Houser making 40 saves, the Komets improved to 5-1 over their last six games with a 3-2 win Sunday at Wheeling. The line of Shawn Szydlowski, Garrett Thompson and Mason Baptista accounted for all three Fort Wayne goals as Thompson scored twice and Szydlowski once. Szydlowski finished with three points to give him eight goals and 17 points over his last 11 games. Thompson broke an eight-game streak without a goal.

Houser is 7-5-2 for the season with a 3.02 goals against average and .896 save percentage, but he’s 4-1 over his last five games, with 11 goals against and a .940 save percentage.

Before this weekend, the Komets had not won any game where they didn’t score at least four goals, going 0-6-2 with three or less. Then they beat Toledo 3-2 in a shootout on Friday and Wheeling 3-2 on Sunday.

Despite the hot streak, the Komets have not been able to gain much ground in the ECHL’s Central Division because they have played fewer games than their division foes. The Komets have played 18 games and have 22 points, third-place Kansas City has played 22 games and has 24 points, second place Cincinnati has played 19 games and has 25 points and first-place Toledo has played 21 games and has 31 points.

That’s one reason the Komets play 14 games during December.

The Komets, 4-3 on the road this season, play at Toledo at 10:35 a.m. Wednesday for a schoolday special. Then they host Quad City on Saturday and Orlando on Sunday.

The Nailers played Sunday without former Komet Garrett Meurs who was suspended indefinitely pending review for a tripping incident that happened in Saturday’s Wheeling game against Reading. Any further discipline will be announced later this week. Wheeling’s Jeff Taylor also missed the game on indefinite suspension after leaving the bench during an altercation during the same incident. Reading’s Loic Leduc also faces a suspension for abuse of official during the incident.