Worse than a rare loss to the Indy Fuel at Memorial Coliseum – they fell 2-1 tonight – and that they lost their short-lived hold of the division lead, was this for the Komets: star forward Shawn Szydlowski has an undisclosed injury.
“Clearly, tonight, (Szydlowski) was really battling it,” coach Gary Graham said. “He came back and tried to give me something. But with (Dennis) Kravchenko being out and Szyd really trying to battle through something tough tonight, we needed some other guys to step up and we didn’t quite get it.”
It’s unclear if Szydlowski will play Sunday at Wheeling, West Virginia, but I certainly doubt it.
While Etienne Marcoux was terrific with 35 saves for the Fuel, the Komets weren’t pleased referee Lucas Martin didn’t penalize him for clearly knocking the net off its moorings with 17 seconds remaining.
That being said, they felt they gave the game away with a wretched second period full of Fort Wayne penalties.
“If you saw all those penalty kills, our guys were completely zapped,” Graham said. “Killing off all those penalties, it completely zapped the life out of us in the second period. … And it got them all the momentum in the world.”
Indy was scoreless on five power plays and Fort Wayne was 0 for 4. Indy’s Cam Reid tied it at 1 with a redirection 18:20 into the second period. Teammate Garrett Clarke netted the winner 24 seconds into the third period with a shot from between the circles, at the end of a 3-on-3 rush.
And Komets captain Jamie Schaafsma had this to say: “I think (Marcoux) played really well. You’ve got to give him credit. He’s a good goalie. But there are lots of good goalies in this league and we’ve got to find some ways to find some more offense. I thought we could have done a better job of making things difficult for him, getting greasier in front of him and making his life tough. We might have made it too easy for him tonight.”