Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Komets' Justin Hodgman looks for a clear shot in the first period of Wednesday's game against Toledo at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Komets' Jamie Schaafsma looks for a shot on goal in the first period of Wednesday's game against Toledo at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Toledo's Ryan Obuchowski takes a shot on goal in the second period of Wednesday's game around the Komets' Ryan Lowney.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Komets' J.C. Campagna takes a shot on goal around Toledo's Dylan Sadowy in the first period of Wednesday's game against Toledo at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Komets' Marco Roy fights to keep the puck away from Toledo's Matt Register and Ben Danford in the first period of Wednesday's game against Toledo at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Komets' J.C. Campagna works to keep the puck away from Toledo's Shane Berschbach in the first period of Wednesday's game against Toledo at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette A ref breaks up a scuffle between Komets' Kyle Hope and Toledo's Brenden Kotyk in the first period of Wednesday's game at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Komets' J.C. Campagna looks for a shot on goal in the first period of Wednesday's game with Toledo's Ben Danford trying to block the shot.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Komets' Marco Roy reaches to keep control of the puck away from Toledo's Matt Register in the first period of Wednesday's game at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Komets' Cam Knights works to keep control of the puck away from Toledo's Matt Register in the first period of Wednesday's game against Toledo at the Memorial Coliseum.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 11:10 pm

Gibson the hero for K's in OT victory

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Goaltender Zach Fucale put on an absolute show. And Shawn Szydlowski was clutch, as he’s so often been through the years for the Komets.

But it was maybe the least likely of the Komets – defenseman Kevin Gibson – that emerged as the real hero, scoring 18:01 into overtime to give the Komets a 2-1 victory over the Toledo Walleye.

Gibson was with the Walleye last season.

His shot from 50 feet out sailed into the net to end what had been a terrific goaltending battle and put the Komets right back in the series. They are down 2-1 in the best-of-7 Central Division semifinals, which continue 8 p.m. Friday at Memorial Coliseum

Fucale stopped 41 shots. Pat Nagle stopped 41 and almost completed back-to-back shutouts for the Walleye

A turnover by Cody Sol deep in his own zone – the puck was stolen by Toledo’s Greg Wolfe as a backhand clear went up the wall – set up the Walleye’s Zach Gallant for the game’s first goal 9:34 into the third period.

With Fucale pulled for an extra attacker, the Komets got a J.C. Campagna shot from the blue line that unleashed a mad scrum for shooting opportunities that ended with Brady Shaw preventing a clear and Szydlowski smacking the puck inside the left post to tie it at 19:38.

That snapped Fort Wayne’s scoreless streak at 121:04. It had lost 6-0 in Game 2 on Saturday at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.

Shaw had the best early chance to win it in overtime, getting a breakaway at 4:50, but Nagle poked the puck away before he could unleash a shot. Szydlowski had a great chance at 5:50 with a slapshot from the left circle and that was stopped, too.

Fort Wayne’s Anthony Nellis split the defense for a breakaway at 9:58 and he missed the net. Toledo’s Wolfe then hit the post at the other end and teammate Tyler Spezia’s shot stopped by Fucale with the Komets fatigued at 16:26 was pivotal.

At the start of the game, rookie Kyle Hope tried to get his Komets and the crowd of 5,556 energized on the first shift with a huge hit on A.J. Jenks in the corner, but Hope was penalized for elbowing on the play by referees Alex Normandin and Steven Rouillard. Fucale stopped Tyler Spezia from point-blank range on the ensuing power play, had an even better kick save on Randy Gazzola from 10 feet out and stopped Kevin Tansey on a odd-man rush.

The Komets had three power plays in the first period and failed to generate much offense through them, but late in the period Nagle had to thwart shots from within 15 feet by Jamie Schaafsma, Marco Roy and Brady Shaw.

The goaltending battle continued in the second period with Nagle foiling an Anthony Petruzzelli backhand shot and Fucale turning away a Ryan Obuchowski wraparound attempt, keeping it scoreless with Fort Wayne having a 17-16 advantage in shots.

The best save of the period, though, came from Komets forward Justin Hodgman, who swatted away a Jenks shot toward an open net with the shaft of his stick, and Fucale followed that with another great save against Matt Register off a rebound.

Early in the third period, Fucale had a glove save on Bryan Moore of Toledo, which then had a 26-21 advantage in shots. Nagle came up with a big save at 7:10 foiling a Schaafsma backhand from 14 feet out as it remained scoreless.

Fort Wayne’s Nellis had a great chance to break the deadlock at 8:20 but Nagle kicked his left leg to stop the low blast.

Notes: Minnesota Wild coach Bruce Boudreau, a former player and coach with the Komets, and father of assistant coach Ben Boudreau, attended the game. … The Komets scratched Mason Baptista in favor of Anthony Nellis. The Komets were also without Phelix Martineau, who suffered an upper-body in the penultimate game of the regular season for Laval of the American Hockey League, Matthew Weis (with Chicago of AHL), Sean Flanagan and Cam Knight. … The Walleye has played with the same lineup all three games.

jcohn@jg.ne