Komets’ Baptista maintains hot streak Scrappy forward has scored goals in six consecutive games.
Mason Baptista sure likes long road trips.
The scrappy Komets forward stepped up to get four goals and six points during last year’s season-long seven-game road trip to Rapid City, Colorado and Alaska, did it again last week. Baptista scored goals in all five games of a road trip to extend is goal-scoring streak to six games. He got the only marker for Fort Wayne in Saturday’s 6-1 loss at Reading that saw the Komets end their road trip with a 2-3 mark.
Baptista’s streak ties Rapid City’s Lindsay Sparks and Allen’s Bryan Moore for the longest in the ECHL this season. The Komets’ franchise record is thought to be eight games held by Merv Dubchack (twice), John Purvues and Konstantin Shafranov.
Despite the loss, the Komets remain two points up on Tulsa for second place in the ECHL’s Central Division.
After back-to-back wins in Elmira on Wednesday and Friday, the Komets hoped to finish on a winning note, but their offense never got off the bus. Goaltender Garrett Bartus was pummeled with 29 shots in less than two periods, giving up four goals, but the Komets didn’t get their first shot of the night until the first 7:07 had been played and then their 10th shot until their was only two minutes left in the second period.
With some spectacular saves, Bartus tried to keep the Komets in it, even stopping a pair of 5-on-3 Reading power plays, but he got no help from his teammates. Bartus was pulled for P.J. Musico with 2:46 left in the second period after giving up four goals. The Royals out-shot the Komets 36-26.
The Komets, 9-9-4 on the road this season, were looking for their season-high third consecutive win away from Memorial Coliseum. The Komets are an ECHL third-best 15-5 at home, which is where they will host the Rapid City Rush on Friday.
From here on, the season turns into a sprint with 13 February games, 12 in March and five in eight April days to finish the regular season, playing 30 games in 67 days, including 16 at home and 14 on the road. The longest road games remaining are three in Quad City and one in Brampton. They play three road games in a row once, back-to-back road games once and back-to-back home games four times. <br>
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Faceoff: Rapid City at Komets, 8 p.m. Friday
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