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  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets right wing Shawn Szydlowski eyes the net in the first period against Toledo Friday night at the Coliseum.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets right wing Shawn Szydlowski takes a shot at the goal in the first period against Toledo on Friday night.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets left wing Garrett Thompson tries to battle through the Toledo defensemen Beau Schmitz, left and Patrick McCarron on Friday right.

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets left wing Garrett Thompson takes a shot at the goal in the first period against Toledo on Friday night at the Coliseum.

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Zac Larraza and Toledo right wing Tyler Barnes collide on the ice in the first period at the Coliseum on Friday.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets defense Dan Maggio moves the puck down the ice in the first period against Toledo on Friday night at the Coliseum.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets center Mason Baptista moves the puck down the ice in the first period against Toledo on Friday night at the Coliseum.

Saturday, December 02, 2017 3:30 am

Analyzing Komets' Teddy Bear rally

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Shawn Szydlowski, who had a third-period goal, a fight and the only goal of the overtime shootout, had this to say after the Komets’ 3-2 victory over the Toledo Walleye on Friday night: “We knew we didn’t want to be shut out on Teddy Bear Toss night. That wouldn’t be a good thing, making everybody walk right back out of the building with those things. So we wanted to get that one and I think that’s what slowed any momentum they had. It’s a 10-minute break scooping all those things up and our fans are now happy and we were able to get another one quick and go on to win.”

-- There really seems to be a correlation, at least in the eyes of those in the Komets' locker room, between Szydlowski fighting and the Komets having success. 

-- I’m told there may have been over 2,000 stuffed animals tossed onto the ice. That’s a great job, Fort Wayne. Video highlights from the game, including the fight, are above.

-- If it looked like it took the Komets awhile to jell in this game, that’s because it did. They practiced all week preparing for a much different lineup, one that would have had Jamie Schaafsma, Gabriel Desjardins and Dennis Kravchenko. “We had three great days of practice and everything we practiced got changed,” Komets coach Gary Graham said. “Everything got switched up. Everything. It’s frustrating. But these are the cards you’ve got to play out. But that can’t be an excuse.”

-- Schaafsma, who was ill Friday, might make the trip to Wheeling, West Virginia, for the game Sunday.

-- What makes a good affiliation from the ECHL perspective? The Walleye was missing some of its best players – A.J. Jenks and Shane Berschbach – and still had seven players on higher-level contracts in the lineup. You think the Komets were maybe jealous of that?

-- After Friday’s game, the Komets are 1-5-1 when trailing at the first intermission and 1-5-2 when down at the second. Toledo is 9-0-1 when leading at the first intermission and 10-0-2 when up after two. Fort Wayne has won 3 of 4 games with the Walleye.

-- Ryan Culkin may have been the best player on the ice. He had a goal, an assist, six shots and a plus-2 rating. Obviously, Szydlowski was awesome. Garrett Thompson was also very noticeable out there.

-- As the home coach, Graham had the option to shoot first. He went the other way. “When you choose to shoot second, what you’re doing is you’re putting faith in your goalie to put you in a position to get the lead, right? He makes the best save and then you start with your best shootout guy, Szydlowski, and now they’re playing catch-up.” Normally, Graham opts to put the pressure on the other team by shooting first.

jcohn@jg.net