Bob Chase, the Komets’ broadcaster for 63 seasons, loved physical hockey, great goaltending and, above all, a Komets victory.
So, he would have appreciated the 3-0 victory today in the Bob Chase Memorial Game, annually held on Thanksgiving.
Cole Kehler stopped 20 shots for the Komets (11-6-2), and he was aided by the team’s 3-for-4 showing on power plays. It was Fort Wayne’s first shutout since Dec. 31, 2017, when Michael Houser stopped 37 shots in a 3-0 victory over the Toledo Walleye.
For Wheeling (8-6-4), Jordan Ruby stopped 29 shots and his team was 0 for 4 on power plays in front of 7,740 fans at Memorial Coliseum.
(Video highlights above.)
The Komets wore special jerseys honoring Chase, who died Thanksgiving 2016 at age 90, and they were raffled off to benefit WOWO’s Penny Pitch charity that raises money for Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana.
The Komets improved to 38-17-4 on Turkey Day.
The first period saw the Komets take a 2-0 lead on power-play goals from Brett McKenzie, who poked a second effort underneath Ruby at 7:15, and Brady Shaw, who redirected an Alan Lyszczarczyk shot into the top of the net at 14:32.
There were also two fights in the period, including a wild one between Fort Wayne’s Kyle Haas and Wheeling’s Brad Drobot, who didn’t like Haas’ post-melee celebration and horse-collared him as he skated toward the penalty box. Shawn Szydlowski also fought Wheeling’s Aaron Titcomb, who had taken exception to a Szydlowski check of Craig Skudalski.
The physicality continued in the scoreless second period with the Komets’ Matthew Boudens fighting Fort Wayne-native Blake Siebenaler, who had driven Brad Ross head-first into the boards. It was Boudens’ first game since returning from Chicago of the higher-level American Hockey League, where he was scoreless in five games.
Shawn St-Amant, who had netted the overtime winner in Wednesday’s 5-4 victory at Wheeling, West Virginia, made it 3-0 with a 25-foot shot 18:41 into the third period.
It was the third straight game between the Komets and Nailers, who had combined for 39 goals in the previous four meetings, and the Komets swept this three-game set.
Notes: The referee was Eric Krasnichuk. … The Komets played without Chase Stewart, Shaquille Merasty, Taylor Ross and Will Petschenig. … Among the tributes to Chase were recognition of his family in a Coliseum suite and a pregame video narrated by NHL-broadcaster Mike Emrick, who was mentored by Chase. … The Komets play host to the Cincinnati Cyclones and former Fort Wayne defenseman Cody Sol at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.