FORT WAYNE – The Komets turned it on late Friday night, but it wasn’t enough to escape a 2-1 loss at the Coliseum to the Toledo Walleye, which got a pair of power-play goals off a pair of bad plays by the Komets.
We had no discipline in the penalty department at all, Komets coach Al Sims said.
Fort Wayne (7-4-1) has followed its five-game winning streak with consecutive losses.
The Komets had some late opportunities to force overtime Friday.
Center Colin Chaulk scored off the rebound of a Tyler Butler shot with 1:53 remaining – the Komets had already pulled their goalie for the extra attacker and the Walleye had barely missed an empty net – and a flurry of late chances were turned away by Toledo goalie Jordan Pearce.
You can’t just have flurries in the last 20 minutes, Komets center Brett Smith said. You’ve got to play the full 60 minutes. Not only that, but you’ve got to stay out of the (penalty) box. We had guys with cold legs because they hadn’t been out penalty killing, and we just had no momentum. Even when we got power plays, after all the penalty killing, we just don’t have it. The game is over because it’s hard to pick it up and go.
The Komets had won the first two games against the Walleye (7-6-1) – both on the road – and this was the first visit by a professional team from Toledo to the Coliseum since 1986.
It got off to a slow start, in front of 7,303 fans. The first period didn’t have much hitting or excitement, except for a penalty shot by Smith, who had been pulled down from behind on a short-handed breakaway. But Smith missed the net.
In the second period, the Komets got what seemed to be a fortunate break from referee Don Jablonski, who waved off a goal by Toledo’s Andrej Nestrasil because he deemed it to be a high stick.
While the non-goal woke the Komets, it wasn’t in a positive manner. Defenseman Daniel Maggio tripped and then cross-checked Byron Froese, drawing a game misconduct and a seven-minute power play for the Walleye. When goalie Kenny Reiter slashed an opponent during the penalty kill, they went down two men, and that set up left wing Terry Broadhurst for a power-play goal 52 seconds into the third period.
Center Joey Martin made it 2-0 on a power play, after forward Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock was penalized for diving.
Toledo was a better team tonight, and they deserved to win, Sims said. They forced us into drawing penalties.
The Walleye was 2 for 8 on power plays. The Komets were 0 for 6.
Reiter (2-1-1) stopped 30 of 32 shots. Pearce (3-1-0) stopped 29 of 30.
Our team wasn’t in sync for most of the night, Sims said.
I can’t put my finger on it, but the puck was out of reach, the puck wasn’t there and Toledo played well.
The Komets played without forwards Eric Giosa (ankle) and Matt Kennedy (leg), defensemen Ryan Hegarty (hand) and Nick Schaus (called to Norfolk of American Hockey League), along with goaltender Marco Cousineau (groin).
We can’t be too concerned because we’ve got another game (tonight), said Sims, whose team will take on the Evansville IceMen, who attended the Komets’ game Friday.
We’ve got to bounce back and beat Evansville and get a win.
Note: Mike Hoban made his debut with the Komets after getting called up from Dayton of the Federal Hockey League. Sims lauded his play but said he couldn’t use him much because of all the penalty killing and with the Komets trailing.