Goaltender Sean Maguire looked good in his first start with the Komets, stopping 36 shots against his former team, but it wasn’t enough to help Fort Wayne avoid a 4-2 loss to the Wheeling Nailers at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia on Sunday.
The Komets gave up four unanswered goals, and they’ve lost back-to-back games in regulation time for only the second time this season and the first time since Nov. 11 and Nov. 16.
The Komets (21-11-2) played without Shawn Szydlowski, who came into the day one point back of Colorado’s Michael Joly and Cincinnati’s Justin Danforth for the ECHL’s point-scoring lead. Szydlowski suffered an undisclosed injury in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Indy Fuel at Memorial Coliseum.
Szydlowski was replaced in the lineup by Zac Larraza, and the Komets opened up a 2-0 lead on goals from Louick Marcotte 17 seconds into the first period and Mason Baptista 5:21 later.
But the Nailers (18-15-3) chipped away at that lead.
Kevin Schultze scored at 12:53 and Troy Josephs tied it at 2 at 12:49 of the second period.
Cam Brown netted the winning goal 6:45 into the third period. Ross McMullan added an insurance goal at 19:14 as Maguire was leaving the ice for an extra attacker.
It was Maguire’s first start since he was with Wheeling on Nov. 26, though he stopped 12 of 17 shots and took a loss in relief for the Komets on Wednesday against Cincinnati. He was acquired by the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes and sent to Fort Wayne to join goalies Michael Houser and Garrett Bartus, who was the backup Sunday.
Wheeling goalie Adam Morrison stopped 39 of 41 shots.