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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, November 09, 2017 12:00 am

Komets defeat defending champs

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Jason Binkley’s goal from the right side of the boards was the difference in a back-and-forth game Wednesday night that saw the Komets defeat the defending-champion Colorado Eagles 4-3, in front of 5,289 fans at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado.

Goaltender Garrett Bartus stopped 19 shots for the Komets (4-3-1), who had lost three of their previous four games, and now face back-to-back games against the Utah Grizzlies on Friday and Saturday.

Forward Marco Roy opened the scoring for the Komets with a power-play goal from 10 feet out 5:02 into the first period, after defenseman Ryan Culkin intercepted a clearing attempt along the dasher boards.

Shortly after a fight between Fort Wayne’s Taylor Crunk and Colorado’s Drayson Bowman, who has 179 games of NHL experience with the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado’s Matt Garbowsky tied it at 12:22 by finishing off an odd-man rush with his team short-handed.

Fort Wayne forward Shawn Szydlowski netted only his second goal of the season, also short-handed, by getting behind the defense and slipping a shot past goaltender Sam Brittain 10:36 into the second period.

After Colorado’s Michael Joly tied it with a power-play goal, forward Artur Tyanulin continued his torrid pace for the Komets by toe-dragging the puck around a defender, eluding the goalie and slipping the puck into an open net as he fell to the ice for a 3-2 lead 3:58 into the third period. He has five goals and nine points in five games.

Binkley’s goal at 9:40 answered a goal by Shawn St-Amant for Colorado (7-4-0), which will move to the American Hockey League after this season.

Notes: Captain Jamie Schaafsma was out of the Fort Wayne lineup, along with Justin Hodgman, Gabriel Desjardins and Dennis Kravchenko. … Goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos was released by Quad City and goalie Sean Bonar was let go by Atlanta. Both had been in training camp with the Komets.