The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, December 01, 2021 1:00 am

K's believe adversity will make them better

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Komets have been playing with confidence – rooted in the way the leaders handle themselves and knowledge that Fort Wayne won the Kelly Cup last season – and it's helped them overcome injuries and call-ups. And they think they'll be better for it, more battle-tested, as this season goes along.

Coming off a 3-2 victory Saturday over the Indy Fuel, capped by defenseman Matt Murphy's third-period goal, the Komets (9-4-2) are tied with Toledo (10-5-0) atop the Central Division. The short-handed Komets played with nine defensemen – three more than usual – and only seven forwards. That situation may not improve much before today's 7 p.m. game against the Fuel (4-9-2) in Indianapolis.

On Monday, the Komets got back defenseman Blake Siebenaler from Belleville of the American Hockey League. Siebenaler played some forward in the AHL and, with top-line forward Connor Jones testing positive for COVID-19, Siebenaler could find himself skating up front again. The Komets acquired rookie forward Bailey Conger from Utah for cash Tuesday – he had one goal and five points in nine games – and Oliver Cooper and Shawn Boudrias are close to returning from injuries.

“We have a really confident group. We have quite a few older guys on the team, guys who have been around for a little bit, so the leadership amongst the group I find is really strong, and we have a really close group,” said Murphy, who has four goals and six points in six Fort Wayne games, while also spending two stints with Belleville. “I've only been (back) for about two weeks, but it's a really close-knit group of guys and it's really shown. Even if we're down some guys, or have guys up in the AHL or some guys hurt or whatnot, we know we can kind of come together and have a chance to win every night if we do the right things.”

The Komets have been led by their goaltending – Samuel Harvey, who stopped 29 of 31 shots Saturday, is 5-0-1 with a 1.80 goals-against average, a league-leading .947 save percentage and one shutout; Jiri Patera is 3-3-1 with a 2.83 GAA and a .907 SP – and Fort Wayne's defense ranks fourth with 2.53 goals against per game.


at Indy Fuel

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis

Radio: 1190 AM, 107.5 FM

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