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Last updated: Wed. Nov. 14, 2012 - 05:40 am EDT

Komets' notebook: Franchise approaching 5,000th game

Plus Kiss Cam scam and, oops, he did it again

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For more on the Komets, follow Blake Sebring on Twitter at www.twitter.com/blakesebring and at his blog www.tailingthekomets.com.

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Toledo at Komets

Faceoff: 8 p.m.

Radio: WOWO, 1190-AM

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Unfortunately, it's too late to do something about the schedule so the game can be played at home, but the Komets will play the 5,000th game in their 61-year history Nov. 28 in Gwinnett.

The Komets played their 4,500th regular-season game last Friday against Evansville, and they have also played 493 playoff games. If the Komets maintain the current pace of 72 contests per ECHL season, the franchise will hit 5,000 regular-season games six faceoffs into the 2019-20 season.

The franchise's all-time regular-season record is 2,323-1733-445, and they are 257-234-2 in playoff games.

Now consider that broadcaster Bob Chase has probably called 4,800 of those games.

Unbelievable night

Maybe the person who had the most fun with Mike Emrick joining Bob Chase on the Komets' broadcast last Friday was regular color man Robbie Irons. The Komets Hall of Famer wondered how it was going to work until he showed up in the booth and saw three chairs and three microphones, and then he heard the plan Emrick and Chase had worked out.

``To get to work with them was unbelievable,'' Irons said. ``I did not feel awkward or anything like that. Mike was as interested in our stories as I was in his. He takes knowledge from everybody. I had a great time, and Bob was as smooth as glass. It was a great thrill for me, and I really appreciate it.''

The night was publicized across the country, including in the New York Post where Emrick was quoted as saying, ``It was like the closing scene of `Field of Dreams,' except the man hasn't passed and heaven was Indiana.''

Emrick is back behind the mike on TV calling Harvard at Cornell at 7:30 p.m. Friday on NBC Sports Network.

Kiss Cam scam

A few weeks ago in Kalamazoo, Komets center Brett Smith noticed the Wings' Kiss Cam segment was focused on him. Every team points the camera at the opposing bench or the referees to try drawing a laugh from the crowd to conclude the segment.

Except Smith leaned over and kissed a teammate on his helmet.

``I look for it here whenever they do that,'' the veteran center said. ``Most teams put it on the opposing bench. I think the majority of times guys do it if they see it. It's better to do when you are winning, but, hey, whatever.''

The same thing happened Saturday in Kalamazoo, and this time forward/defenseman Colten Hayes leaned over and kissed defenseman Dan Nycholat on the cheek. The score was 5-2 Wings at the time.

``I was just trying to brighten the mood on the bench a little bit,'' Hayes. ``It was just to loosen the guys up.''

The way the game was going, why not? It's a long season, and sometimes a laugh like that can turn a game around.

Oops, he did it again

Things were so bad Saturday night that the always-reluctant Colin Chaulk finally shot and scored, but everybody was still mad at him. That's because he put the puck into the Fort Wayne net, top shelf in fact.

``It was a nice goal,'' Chaulk said, trying to chuckle after the game.

Good line.

Kalamazoo's Brett Lysak was chasing right behind him when Chaulk scooped up a rebound and tried to shoot it behind the goal and around the boards. Instead, the puck went into the top corner, shocking goaltender Charlie Effinger.

``He was right behind me and he would have gotten it if I didn't shoot it,'' Chaulk said. ``I just told Charlie I was sorry. What can you do?''

It's actually the second time during his 10-year Fort Wayne career that Chaulk has scored into his own net. He did it once on Kevin St. Pierre on Jan. 14, 2005, at home against Motor City.

``It wasn't as nice as this one,'' Chaulk said. ``I tried to toe drag it out (of the crease) and I tipped it right in. He was pretty even-keeled about it. You have to rebound from that stuff.''

No pun intended.

Kids, meet hockey

Toledo drew almost 7,000 young fans to a school appreciation day game against the Komets on Nov. 7. The Huntington Arena rocked all game and made a bunch of money from concession sales, but Walleye coach Nick Vitucci explained the best reason for hosting such a game, despite the constant screaming.

``I've said this for years, whoever came up with that idea, hats off to them,'' Vitucci said. ``I think it promotes the game of hockey and introduces a lot of kids to the game, to the sport, to the experience and may breed longtime hockey fans going forward.''

Icing the puck

With a 7-2-1 mark after 10 games, the Komets are off to their best start ever in 10 seasons under Al Sims. ... Don't forget about the Lamp Lighters Hockey Ministry attempt at a world record by shooting 10,000 pucks in four hours Saturday. Former Komets Guy Dupuis and Eddie Long are hosting the event at Spiece Fieldhouse. ... Komets winger Brandon Marino has an ECHL season-high eight-game point streak going. ... Before this Friday night, the last time a Toledo team played pro hockey in Fort Wayne was April 12, 1986, a game the Komets won 7-3.

bsebring@news-sentinel.com


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