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Tyson Fawcett hoping for big rebound season with Komets

Before the Evansville IceMen went dark after the 2015-16 season and then moved to Jacksonville, forward Tyson Fawcett was a total pest against the Komets. He scored 22 goals and 42 points in 72 games that season and earned the team’s spot in the ECHL All-Star Game.

He was particularly effective against the Komets, scoring four goals and eight points in six games. He scored his first pro hat track on Dec. 13 of that season in Fort Wayne, and finished with four goals and five points in three Memorial Coliseum games.

“Every time I came here, it was kind of like this was my city, and I popped one in,” Fawcett said with a smile.

Komets coach Gary Graham remembered Fawcett’s production against the Komets and invited him to training camp this year. Fawcett is hoping his “home-ice” advantage will help him revitalize his career.

Last season, Fawcett made Rochester of the American Hockey League out of training camp but played only two games with the Americans before being sent to Elmira of the ECHL. The Jackals were awful last season, finishing 17-47-8, partly because they couldn’t score. Fawcett finished with two goals and 12 points in 37 games before he was sent to Tulsa.

He rebounded in Oklahoma, scoring three goals and seven points in 12 games before ending his season with a broken hand with a month to go.

This summer he was looking to rebound in a big way, finding his scoring touch again and putting last year behind him for good. He came to Fort Wayne in part because he likes the Komets’ winning tradition.

“I haven’t been on a team yet that has made the playoffs,” he said. “I’m hoping to get into a good situation and have a good season and maybe get to the next level. I know I still have to show myself well and make the team, but I have a mindset that I deserve to be here and now’s the time to prove it. I think I’m ready.

“Hopefully I can get back on the train I was on in Evansville and take off again.”

Ready for exhibition games

As the Komets head into their three exhibition games, there’s a definitive gameplan. They open at 6:30 p.m. at Indy before hosting the Fuel on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and finishing up at home Monday against Kalamazoo.

“Most guys are going to get two or three games, and some guys will get three games,” Komets coach Gary Graham said. “There might be a guy or two who only gets one game. On the road, we’ll probably go with the younger group and sprinkle in a couple of older guys. The home games on Saturday and Monday will be the guys who are competing for the final jobs.”

All three teams have agreed to use 20-man rosters instead of the ECHL’s usual limit of 16 skaters. That will allow them to showcase an extra forward line or possibly even a pair of extra defensemen. The Komets currently have 25 players on the training camp roster — 11 forwards, 10 defensemen and four goaltenders.

The Komets are also still in line to get two more forwards from their affiliation with Tucson of the AHL. There are also plenty of free agents becoming free every day as teams make roster moves.

“Right now there’s not much going on,” Graham said. “I think we want to see how this group sorts itself out. I’m not really looking for anything per se, but obviously if something came along and I felt we had some holes or some injuries came along, we’ll continue to keep our eyes open. Right now I like where we’re at, we just have to start seeing the building blocks come together.

“The exhibition games are when you get your opportunity, that’s when the guys are playing really game-like. There’s plenty of opportunity for guys to separate themselves.”

For more on the Komets, follow Blake Sebring on Twitter at @blakesebring, at his blog tailingthekomets.com and on Facebook at Blake Sebring.

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