Jon Booras has a knack for foiling the Komets.
In his last 17 games against Fort Wayne, he has totaled seven goals and 17 points. And on Sunday, the forward did his usual damage for the Bloomington PrairieThunder.
With the teams tied at 2 in the second period, Booras hopped out of the penalty box, streaked into the Komets’ offensive zone, intercepted a Guy Dupuis pass that was headed toward the blue line and took off on a breakaway to score.
It was the damage the PrairieThunder would need in a 4-2 victory at Memorial Coliseum, dealing the Komets a blow in their hopes of moving out of the eighth and final playoff position in the Turner Conference.
This isn’t to say Fort Wayne, which had gone 2-0-1 in the previous four days, had no chances to tie it up and force overtime. The Komets put 30 shots on goaltender Brad Phillips. But it was when they didn’t get any shots – during 1 minute, 2 seconds of a late 5-on-3 advantage – that had the 6,513 fans at Memorial Coliseum a little frustrated.
The Komets were 1 for 8 on the power play. Bloomington was 2 for 7.
We had numerous chances 5-on-3 and our power play didn’t come through for us today, coach Al Sims said. That’s unfortunate, but those things happen. And their goaltender, I thought, played great. When you stop three breakaways like he did, you’re playing pretty good.
The Komets (29-26-7), who have four games remaining in their first CHL season, remain tied with Dayton, though both have clinched postseason berths. But the Komets have played one fewer game than the Gems and were hoping to pull even Sunday with sixth-place Quad City, which would have potentially set up a first-round matchup with a favorable opponent – third-place Bloomington (35-20-6).
The Komets are 3-6-0 against the PrairieThunder, which had never made the postseason.
We had chances all game, and you can’t blame it on that one bad power play, Komets forward Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock said. Our power play had been going the past couple games (with six goals in 20 attempts) and it’s probably the reason we took two out of three games coming into today.
The PrairieThunder opened the scoring, on the first shot of the game, 25 seconds in, when forward Travis Granbois sent a pass out of the corner and forward Jason Dale was there to smack it underneath goaltender Nick Boucher, who made 27 saves.
The Komets answered, on their first shot, 2:03 later, when center Mathieu Curadeau sent a pass from the corner to Schrock, who netted a high shot from the left circle. Left wing Tab Lardner gave Fort Wayne a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal from 40 feet out, as center Colin Chaulk was screening Phillips at 8:29 of the first period.
But Bloomington answered at 19:04 on a goal from Granbois, a former Fort Wayne player. After Booras’ goal at 3:15 of the second period, forward John Snowden got a late empty-net goal to finish the scoring.
Notes: The Komets played without defenseman Frankie DeAngelis (concussion) and Danko Mironovic (back), plus forwards Sean O’Connor (wrist) and Jon Mirasty, who team president Michael Franke said had the flu.