Tailing the Komets: Ryan Culkin’s power-play marker holds up in win

Ryan Culkin

Ryan Culkin

The Fort Wayne Komets played a nearly perfect road game Friday night and it turned into a 4-2 win over the Utah Grizzlies.

Ryan Culkin’s power-play goal 4:09 into the third period held up as goaltender Michael Houser made 33 saves. The Komets held the Grizzlies scoreless in four power-play chance and scored on their first chance with the man advantage with Culkin’s goal.

Ralph Cuddemi, who played for Utah last year, scored a goal against his former teammates, and the Komets also go goals from Garrett Thompson and Jamie Schaafsma. Culkin also had an assist, and Shawn Szydlowski had two assists.

Congratulations, coach

Including 27 playoff wins over the past four years, Komets coach Gary Graham won the 200th game of his Fort Wayne coaching career on Wednesday night in Colorado. Graham ranks fifth all-time among Komets coaches behind Al Sims’ win total of 504, 322 by Ken Ullyot, 298 by Greg Puhalski and 212 by Rob Laird. He passed Ron Ullyot’s total of 186 late last season.

Smile, you’re on TV!

The league announced Thursday that the ECHL All-Star Classic will be televised live on Jan. 15 from Indianapolis on the NHL Network. Faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. from Indiana Farmers Coliseum. For the first time in ECHL history, the setup will feature four teams representing each of the league’s divisions. In a format similar to those adapted by the NHL and AHL All-Star Games, the four teams will compete in a 3-on-3 tournament in order to crown a winner. The 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place between the semifinal and championship rounds of the tournament.

Icing the puck

The Komets got to hold a mini-reunion with former teammate Kyle Thomas during the pregame morning skate, but the winger was then called up to San Diego of the AHL. Thomas signed a two-way contract with San Diego over the summer… The Komets activated captain Jamie Schaafsma and placed forward Zac Larraza on reserve before the game… Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the ECHL announced Friday it had welcomed its 100th million regular-season fan during a game in Kalamazoo… Thompson has scored four goals in his last four games… The teams play again at 9:05 p.m. as the Komets continue a five-game road trip.

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