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Rookie a bright spot for Komets

January 3, 2019

The Komets are coming off one of their best periods of the season : they scored three unanswered goals in the third against the Brampton Beast on New Year’s Eve : but it wasn’t enough as they lost 4-3 Monday.

But the player that sparked the comeback was Anthony Petruzzelli, the rookie who got the scoring going with a shot from the right circle that slipped underneath the crossbar and then scored another by receiving Jamie Schaafsma’s pass from the right corner and flicking a 15-foot shot into the top of the net.

“He brought the pace there in the third that we needed,” Komets coach Gary Graham said.

Petruzzelli has been on a tear lately, tallying points in four of the last five games for a total of three goals and six points in that stretch.

“It kind of slowed down for a couple weeks but it’s nice to get back on the scoresheet and contribute a little more. If I can keep doing that, it would be nice,” said Petruzzelli, 25, who played four regular-season games and 14 playoff games last season for the Komets after finishing his career at the University of Vermont.

After Monday’s game, Komets president Michael Franke made it clear that management is growing tired of team’s inconsistency. It is 16-14-1 and in fifth place in the Central Division heading into today’s 7 p.m. game in Indianapolis at Indiana Farmers Coliseum against the Indy Fuel (17-14-0), which is tied for third with Wheeling.

 Petruzzelli is one of the young players who has shown the most potential. He has six goals and 16 points in 31 games this season, giving him a total of nine goals and 21 points in 49 games, including the playoffs, for Fort Wayne.

But he’s a player who doesn’t always do the flashy things such as score; he grinds away in the corners and tries to make things easier for his teammates.

“If it’s not going for you offensively, you’ve got to help the team a different way, whether it’s blocking shots, playing good in the (defensive) zone or supporting other guys offensively by getting them the puck,” said Petruzzelli, who had five goals and eights point in 35 games as a senior at Vermont.

He was a dynamic scorer in juniors, however, totaling 94 goals and 193 points in 216 games from 2011 to 2014. In 2013, Brooks was the national champion of Canadian Junior A hockey. Petruzzelli was inducted into the Bandits’ Hall of Fame before this season.

And Petruzzelli would like to resume that scoring, and he showed signs of it Monday.

“It’s kind of getting to the net. I’ve never been a guy who’s going to snipe them that often : I did get pretty lucky (Monday) with the first one : but I’m usually a go-to-the-net kind of guy, banging in the second chances, and I’ve been focusing on that,” he said.

“I’ve been trying to go to the dirty areas.”

Note: Brampton’s Jordan Henry was suspended one game by the ECHL and fined an undisclosed amount of money for slew-footing the Komets’ Brady Shaw on Monday. 

jcohn@jg.net

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