It may seem hard to believe, considering what he's done in his hockey career, but when center Justin Hodgman took to the Memorial Coliseum ice on Feb. 2 he did so with wavering confidence.
It wasn't just that he hadn't played in more three months, though that was part of it. It was that he didn't want to be a detriment to a Komets lineup that had become one of the best in the ECHL.
It certainly didn't apply to Michael Houser, who thrilled the 7,471 fans at Memorial Coliseum and befuddled his former teammates with his goaltending, but coach Gary Graham called the Komets' game Friday night "disgusting, appalling across the board."
While the Komets rallied from a two-goal deficit to salvage a point in the standings, their 3-2 loss to the Cincinnati Cyclones included an abundance of turnovers and not much of Fort Wayne's supposed speed.
The Cincinnati Cyclones know as well as anyone what goalie Michael Houser is capable of doing, after he spent three of the last five seasons playing for them.
Houser's heroics are now for the Komets, though, and he frustrated his former teammates with 22 saves in a 3-2 Cincinnati overtime victory.
Shawn O'Donnell netted the winner from 6 feet out in the 3-on-3 overtime for the Cyclones, and Fort Wayne coach Gary Graham after the game was displeased with the lapses by his team.
The Komets have added two players to their roster this week : forwards Artur Tyanulin and Zac Larraza from the Tucson Roadrunners of the higher-level American Hockey League : but Fort Wayne not yet released anyone.
They may not need to do so.
They have had some minor injuries and center Justin Hodgman was placed on injured reserve, retroactive to Sunday.
The Komets fell for the first time this season, losing 3-2 night to the Kansas City Mavericks, a team that looked vastly improved over Friday.
It took great goaltending for the Mavericks to win, though, as they were outshot 45-23.
After crushing the Mavericks 8-2 on Friday night at the Coliseum, led by two Garrett Thompson goals, the Komets expected more of a battle tonight and they got it in front of 7,696 fans.
The roster is different. The organizational philosophy is different.
With the Komets opening training camp for their 66th season today at Memorial Coliseum, and the regular-season opener against the Toledo Walleye on Oct. 14, there's neither much time for coach Gary Graham to get the team ready for success nor for the fans to get to know this year's team.
Here's a look at the biggest storylines for the Komets:
- The Journal GazetteKomets win, stay aliveApril 21, 2019
- The Journal GazetteFaceoffs key for K'sApril 18, 2019
- The Journal GazetteWith Campagna out, Komets lose in OTMarch 24, 2019
- The Journal GazetteK's lose to Fuel in OTMarch 24, 2019
- The Journal GazetteReeling K's can't seem to catch a breakFebruary 23, 2019