TOLEDO – The difficult goals had eluded the Komets’ line of Jean-Michel Rizk, Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock and Stephon Thorne through the first six games of the season.
In the seventh, Friday night at the Huntington Center, they buried an easy one.
The Komets hope it gets the line going.
“It was the type of goal they needed. They needed something that was empty net, nobody in front of them and … hopefully that goal gives them some confidence,” Komets coach Al Sims said after a 4-3 victory over the Toledo Walleye in front of 5,161 fans.
Schrock shot the puck on goalie Jordan Pearce from the blue line and Rizk swept the rebound into an open net to make it 3-2 early in the third period.
Forward Thomas Beauregard, playing his first game for the Komets, made it 4-2 less than five minutes later, as the Komets scored on each of their first two shots of the period.
Toledo’s Willie Coetzee scored from the blue at 10:20, but goaltender Charlie Effinger (23 saves) got things done from there, as the Komets (4-2-1) won in their first trip to Toledo since 1985 in the original IHL.
“Finally,” Rizk said. “There had been a good shot by Schrocky and a good trap by Thorny to set it up, and good things happened. I’m lucky. I got the result of it all. But if you backtrack about 10 seconds, those guys created that play, and I was just the fortunate guy who put the puck in the net.”
The Komets, who have won back-to-back games for the first time in the ECHL, play at 3 p.m. today at Kalamazoo, Mich.
“At some points, we’re all on the same page and trying to chip pucks, get pucks deep, by their defensemen,” Rizk said. “That allows us to keep the pressure on them. (For a few) games, we had teams put pressure on us and that’s not fun to play against.
“So we’re trying to do it to other teams now, and it seems to be working.”
The Komets gave up an early short-handed goal to Luke Glendening, but Brett Smith answered on the power play. Defenseman Brent Henley gave Fort Wayne a 2-1 lead at 11:45 of the second period, redirecting a Daniel Maggio shot into the net for just his sixth goal since 2006.
“He’s the new Frankie DeAngelis, I guess,” Sims said, alluding to the Komets’ former all-star defenseman “But no, it was a great tip by Henley.
“You wouldn’t expect that from a guy that big, but (6-foot-7) Henley has got great hands.
Left wing Randy Rowe was credited with a power-play goal 1:42 into the third period for Toledo (4-3-1). Effinger (2-1-0) had made the initial save, but Maggio failed to clear the puck out of the crease and inadvertently put it in himself.
Pearce (0-1-0) stopped 17 of 21 shots.
Note: During Friday’s game between the Komets and Evansville at Memorial Coliseum, Bob Chase will call the game with NHL national broadcaster Mike Emrick. Emrick, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, was mentored growing up by Chase, who recently won the famed Lester Patrick Trophy for his contributions to hockey in the U.S.