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The Journal Gazette

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets left wing Taylor Crunk getting held back by a Kansas City defender in the second period Saturday night at the Coliseum.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets center Marco Roy passing the puck in the first period against Kansas City Saturday night at the Coliseum.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets left wing Garrett Thompson chasing down the puck in the first period against Kansas City Saturday night at the Coliseum.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets defense Cody Sol taking a shot at the net in the first period against Kansas City Saturday night at the Coliseum.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets center Dennis Justin Hodgman setting up for a play in the first period against Kansas City Saturday night at the Coliseum.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets center Tyson Fawcett moving into position in the second against Kansas City Saturday night at the Coliseum.  

Saturday, October 21, 2017 11:50 pm

Penalty costly, but not reason for defeat

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Much focus tonight, in the wake of the Komets’ 3-2 loss to the Kansas City Mavericks, is obviously on the penalty called on Jamie Schaafsma for holding with 1:25 left and his team trailing by one goal and on the power play.

Lucas Martin, the referee, had missed two big calls earlier in the game: Justin Hodgman getting high-sticked in the face and Ralph Cuddemi being yanked down from behind.

This call he made and, in my opinion, he shouldn’t have. I think there was some holding, so that may be enough for some, but I also think it was a pretty even battle for the puck and not a call you need to make at that stage of the game. The biggest thing for me was I didn’t think Schaafsma’s actions did much to alter the play. He had the inside track to the puck as it came out from the net and had the same amount of possession even after the alleged holding.

Here’s what Komets coach Gary Graham said of the play between Schaafsma and Kayle Doetzel: “I don’t know why the referee has to make that call. I don’t see a hold there and I was watching the replay. I don’t know why you get involved in a situation like that when both guys are going in and are both mauling each other. I just don’t understand in that big spot of the game why that call happens.”

All that being said, the blame for the loss falls not on the referee but on the Komets themselves. I wrote Friday, when the Komets were being praised for them focus in the 8-2 victory over the Mavericks, that a truer test would come in the rematch. And the Komets came out flatter than they had in the first two games of the season.

“(Friday) night was obviously a stomping. You can’t come to the rink thinking it’s going to be the same thing,” defenseman Cody Sol said. “If you look at the third period, if we played that way the whole game then we would have won that game. It’s just frustrating. But that’s the nice thing about early in the season – we’re still working on chemistry and working on learning how to win those types of games.”

The Komets outshot the Mavericks 43-23, including 17-2 in the third period when Marc-Olivier Roy had the lone goal.

It’s interesting to note that the Mavericks’ lack of a backup goalie – Kevin St. Pierre was again the emergency backup – probably worked in their favor because Tyler Parsons was stellar tonight. I didn’t think he looked bad Friday, when he didn’t have as much help obviously, but he took it to another level tonight.

“Any guy in this league, if he has a bad night he’s going to want to come back and show he can play in this league,” Sol said. “Their goalie had a good game, but it’s not the only reason for the loss and we have to find ways to get past him.”

Still, after three games, I would think you have to feel pretty good about the Komets. They have shown their speed, depth and toughness – Dennis Kravchenko, Sol and Shawn Szydlowski have delivered momentum-shifting fights when the Komets most needed them this season.

And now they get until Friday to work on what went wrong tonight. They play the Cyclones then at the Coliseum.

jcohn@jg.net