FORT WAYNE – One of the wilder nights of the season ended in fittingly wild fashion, with Komets left wing Artem Podshendyalov breaking in alone, ripping a shot on net and watching in agony as Missouri goaltender Rob Nolan fell onto his derriere with the puck in his glove and two-tenths of a second on the clock Wednesday.
A game that began with Colin Chaulk assessed a major penalty and a game misconduct for kneeing Nick Sirota just 42 seconds in – finished equally so for the Komets in a 5-4 loss in front of 5,668 fans at Memorial Coliseum.
It was a big hill to climb for our team, and they gave it everything they had, Komets coach Al Sims said. A few great saves by their goalie was the difference in the game.
One shot after Chaulk was sent off, Missouri had a one-goal lead. Three shots after that, it was two-goal lead.
By the time the Mavericks had their third man-advantage, and another one on the way, it became a three-goal lead in what would become the Komets second regulation loss in 13 games. The Komets (12-20-5) remained tied for last place in the CHL with Evansville.
The Komets were already playing without forwards Mathieu Curadeau (upper body), Leo Thomas (ankle) and Chris Francis (called up to Springfield), plus defenseman Brandon Warner (shoulder). Losing Chaulk, the top-line center, made matters worse.
Sirota returned in the first period for Missouri.
I dont think the hit warranted five minutes and a game misconduct, Chaulk said. I had him lined up, to hit him with my shoulder. I was trying basically to hit him in the middle of the chest and, at the last second, he jumps out of the way. Your natural reaction is to try and get him still. Im glad hes OK.
After taking a 3-0 lead on two goals from forward Mike Berry and one from forward Carlyle Lewis, the Mavericks (20-13-3) were foiled on a 20-foot shot by Tab Lardner, whom they traded to Fort Wayne Nov. 26. Lardner has nine goals and 11 points in 19 games with Fort Wayne.
Thirty-eight seconds later, Podshendyalov circled out of the right corner and sent a shot above the glove of Nolan.
Goals from forwards Toby Lafrance and Ryan Jardine gave the Mavericks a 5-2 lead.
Defenseman Guy Dupuis slap shot from the right circle, at 13:37 of the third period, trimmed the Mavericks lead to 5-3.
Forward Neil Musselwhite scored at 16:11, after Derek Patrossos no-look pass from behind the net.
Nolan stopped 37 of 41 shots. Fort Waynes Nick Boucher stopped 19 of 24.