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  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Komets' Mike Cazzola fights to keep ahead of Wheeling's Danny Fick during a face off in the second period of Saturday's game against Wheeling at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Behind Wheeling Nailers goalie Doug Carr, left, the Komets' Mason Baptista battles for the puck with Keevin Cutting, middle, and Danny Fick.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets Kyle Follmer, left, Coliin Mulvey and Travis Ewanyk, bottom, celebrate after Ewaynk scored in the first period on Wheeling Nailers goalie Doug Carr, right, as Danny Fick, middle, and Christian Hilbrich look on at Memorial Coliseum. 

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Komets' Trevor Cheek takes a shot on goal with Wheeling's goalie Doug Carr blocking the puck in the first period of Saturday's game against Wheeling at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Komets' Mike Cazzola fights through Wheeling's defense in the first period of Saturday's game at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Referee Stephen Thomson is pinned against the boards by Komets forward Mason Baptista, left, and Wheeling's Adam Kruse, as Travis Ewanyk, right, gets ready to play the puck. 

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Komets' Dan Milan takes a shot on goal in the first period of Saturday's game against Wheeling at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Trevor Cheek, of the Komets, keeps his eye on the goal as he brings the puck down the ice in the first period of Saturday's game against Wheeling at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Travis Ewanyk, bottom, fires a shot in the first period that will get past goaltender Doug Carr at Memorial Coliseum. Colin Mulvey, top left, battles for position with the Wheeling Nailers' Danny Fick as Keevin Cutting is on his knees. 

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets Colin Mulvey, left, and Mason Baptista get in position for a rebound but the puck slides wide of goaltender Doug Carr of the Wheeling Nailers on Saturday night at Memorial Coliseum. 

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette The Komets celebrate a first-period goal by Travis Ewanyk, bottom, at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night. Pictured are Kyle Follmer, left, and Colin Mulvey of the Komets, while Wheeling's Danny Fick is on the ice and goalie Doug Carr looks for the puck. 

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Komets' Mike Cazzola gives Wheeling's Michael Websteer a shove in the second period of Saturday's game against Wheeling at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Mike Embach, of the Komets, fights for control with Danny Fick in front of Wheeling's goal in the first period of Saturday's game against Wheeling at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Komets' Will Weber takes a shot on goal in the first period of Saturday's game against Wheeling at the Memorial Coliseum.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette The puck got behind Komets goaltender Garrett Bartus but, because it hit the post, sailed wide of the net at Memorial Coliseum. Jason Binkley and Travis Ewanyk defend, as Adam Krause and Christian Hilbrich, top left, of the Wheeling Nailers attack. 

Saturday, March 04, 2017 8:16 pm

Komets rally past Wheeling

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

Trevor Cheek scored a power-play goal, redirecting a Shawn Szydlowski shot, to complete the Komets’ improbable 4-3 victory over Wheeling on Saturday at the Coliseum.

It was the Komets'  eighth time winning this season when they’ve trailed by two or more goals.

The Komets scored the wild game-tying goal 12:24 into the third period, when a Colin Mulvey shot caromed off the skate of Mason Baptista and went past goaltender Doug Carr.

Some dirty third-period hits, and a post-game melee, should set the tone nicely for the 5 p.m. Sunday game between the teams.

Mike Cazzola was back in the lineup after a three-game stint with Binghamton of the higher-level American Hockey League, during which the Komets went 3-0-0 and outscored the opposition 15-4, including a 4-3 victory over Wheeling at the Coliseum on Sunday.

While the Komets had been off since then, the Nailers won 3-2 at Indianapolis on Friday night on a Cody Wydo overtime goal – it was Wheeling’s only victory in five games.

The Komets quickly stonewalled that momentum, getting a goal from Travis Ewanyk on the first shot of the game, after Mason Baptista set him up with a cross-ice pass during an odd-man rush.

The Nailers tied it at 13:11 when Garrett Meurs scored at the end of a 2-on-1 rush, thanks to a Tyler Currier pass across the slot. Meurs, who played 98 games for the Komets the previous two seasons, has career highs in goals (21) and points (42) in 55 games for Wheeling. Against Fort Wayne, he has three goals and six points in four games, of which the Komets have won three.

While Bartus came up with some big saves, including a stop of Webster from point-blank range 8:50 into the second period, he got some help from the goalposts. Wheeling’s Gage Quinney hit the iron twice, on a 30-foot shot in the first period and at the end of a second-period breakaway that saw him switch to his backhand to befuddle Bartus.

The Nailers were 2 for 5 on power plays, failing to score during a second-period 5-on-3 advantage but getting a Wydo goal off a rebound at 11:56. Just after hitting the post yet again, Quinney made it 3-1 with a backhand during a power play at 17:27.

While there had already been a big first-period hit, with Fort Wayne’s Cody Sol laying out Alexandre Carrier at center ice, things intensified in the third when Meurs drove Dan Milan headfirst into the boards. Sol retaliated by tossing Meurs to the ice and then ripping off his helmet to fight, but it didn’t escalate before the linesmen got involved and Sol got a penalty for rough and a misconduct for throwing equipment.

After the Komets tied it at 3, Bartus stopped another breakaway and Milan took another hit from behind, this time from Carrier, who was then cross-checked from behind by Kyle Follmer. The ensuing power play set up Szydlowski for his winner.

Notes: The Komets were without Kyle Thomas (Cleveland of AHL), Bobby Shea (Rochester of AHL), captain Jamie Schaafsma (finger), Garrett Thompson, Kyle Flemington and Gabriel Beaupre (concussion). … The referee was Stephen Thomson.

jcohn@jg.net