ALLEN, Texas – Nothing would shock me at this point, not in the way this series has gone. But I can tell you this, after the Komets’ 6-5 overtime loss tonight: There are definitely times you can tell when a team is done facing an elimination game and I don’t get the feeling from the Komets that they’re going to pack it in.
More than anything, I feel like they’re mad.
Of course, as we all know with this team, they don’t channel their anger well.
No matter what you think about the officiating tonight – and it was wretched – the Komets have to take responsibility for blowing a three-goal lead on the road.
But the ECHL has to take some responsibility for what’s going on, too. It seems ages ago, but early in this game, Kyle Thomas had a goal waved off that most people I’ve spoken to agree was in the net.
The Vincent Arseneau hit on Gabriel Beaupre was egregious. Sometimes we forget this is a developmental league for the officials, too, but I don’t see how any rational person could see that hit and not think it was a penalty. That two referees were on the ice and missed it, and a similar later hit by the same player, is dumbfounding.
But let me be clear: The officials didn’t decide this game, they just helped it along. Allen scored on 3 of 6 power plays. Fort Wayne was 1 for 6 but got the last four penalties.
The quote of the night from Allen was this one, ironic just because I think back to those Rockford teams coached by Steve Martinson and how they celebrated every goal like it was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals: “We just said, ‘Hey, Pittsburgh scored three goals in the third period and we’ve done it before. We did it a lot last year, we haven’t done it as much this year. You have to be careful rubbing salt (in a wound),” Martinson said.
“After they scored their fourth and fifth goals, they do a ‘Woooo’. Yeah, they were doing the Ric Flair, coming by the bench doing the Ric Flair. I was like we got a lot of pride. Obviously, we weren’t happy with our first half of the game, but it’s like insult. They get all their toughness from a couple of guys. They’re rubbing it in our faces. We can take it or we can get skating. We got to start getting pucks in behind their D and making their defense have to turn and go back and it caught up with them.”
We know that Jake Hildebrand will start today for Allen. He has been really good. I don’t know the status of Beaupre yet.
The key for Fort Wayne in the next one is staying out of the box, obviously. But other than that, it needs to get traffic in front of the net. Once the Komets got up 5-2, I felt like they tried to sit on the lead and just didn’t do a good job of it.