A night after making a statement by defeating the division’s best team, the Cincinnati Cyclones, in their own building, the Komets again couldn’t solve the Toledo Walleye.
Despite Cole Kehler’s spectacular performance with 42 saves, the Komets lost 2-1 in an overtime shootout in front of 9,439 fans at Memorial Coliseum.
The Komets led 1-0 heading into the third period.
Toledo scored on 1 of 5 power plays. Fort Wayne was 0 for 4.
Kehler allowed shootout goals to Troy Loggins and Mark Auk. Fort Wayne’s A.J. Jenks and Brady Shaw both missed.
Toledo’s netminder, Bill Christopoulos, also had a terrific game with 43 saves.
The Komets, who play their next seven games on the road, are off until Friday when they take on the Indy Fuel in Indianapolis.
However, the ECHL All-Star Classic will be Wednesday in Wichita, Kansas. The Komets’ all-star representative, forward Shawn St-Amant, will not be able to participate because of his upper-body injury, team president Michael Franke confirmed.
There are no plans to add an alternate Komets player, Franke said, though that could change depending on injuries around the ECHL this weekend. St-Amant, who has 14 goals and 25 points in 22 games, has missed 11 straight games, but he could be back in the lineup next weekend.
As part of an ECHL partnership with DC Comics, the Komets donned Batman jerseys tonight and Toledo wore Joker uniforms. The Komets’ jerseys were auctioned off to benefit the Mad Anthonys Children’s Foundation.
It was a goaltending battle during the first 29 minutes, at which point Toledo was outshooting the Komets 22-19. The Komets’ best chance had been an Anthony Petruzzelli breakaway early in the second period that was foiled by Christopoulos.
The Komets thought they’d solved him nine minutes into the second but the goal was waved off because Matthew Boudens had played it with a high stick.
Fort Wayne’s Drake Rymsha opened the scoring 2:03 later, at the end of a 2-on-1 rush with Petruzzelli, that was started by a Gage Torrel pass along the boards.
Kehler preserved the lead by thwarting a Shane Berschbach breakaway at 12:11.
The Komets’ Shawn Szydlowski was denied a goal 3:40 into the third period, when he shot toward a seemingly open net and Toledo defenseman Charle-Edward D’Astous dove to block it.
Just 2:44 later, with Fort Wayne’s Taylor Doherty serving a penalty for boarding, Toledo’s Loggins chipped in a backhand to tie it on a power play.
Toledo’s Kevin Spinozzi got a penalty in overtime for kneeing Alan Lyszczarczyk, who had drawn a penalty late in regulation on T.J. Hensick for tripping. The Komets generated only one shot on goal, though, in the overtime power play.
Late in overtime Kehler stopped Kyle Bonis on a breakaway.
The Komets have had 11 games go to extra time, but this was the first game to go past the 7-minute overtime and into a shootout.