Drake Rymsha went end-to-end, steering his way around a Kalamazoo Wings defender along the way, to lead the Komets to a 3-2 overtime victory tonight.
It was a much-needed victory for the Komets, who are 5-7-3 in their last 15 games.
An announced crowd of 6,777 attended the game at Memorial Coliseum.
Kalamazoo scored on 2 of 7 power plays. Fort Wayne was 1 for 4.
Rookie goaltender Dylan Ferguson, who hadn’t played since Jan. 12 because of an undisclosed illness, got the start for the Komets and made an abundance of saves on close-range shots as the Wings had a 7-1 shot lead through the first 10:44.
But the Wings enjoyed the game’s first four power plays – and more than a minute with a delayed penalty coming and an extra attacker on the ice – and they took a 1-0 lead when Boston Leier got to a rebound and flicked the puck inside Ferguson’s arm at 14:51 with a man-advantage.
The Komets answered with a power-play goal of their own at 16:06. Captain A.J. Jenks polished off a tic-tac-toe passing play, which began with Drake Rymsha and Mason Bergh, by scoring from just off the right goalpost.
Ferguson kept it tied by foiling Justin Taylor on a shot from point-blank range at the end of an odd-man rush 56 seconds into the second period.
Kalamazoo’s goalie, Jake Hildebrand, kept pace by foiling a Gabriel Verpaelst redirection at 2:57.
Those two renewed acquaintances as the Komets made it 2-1 at 11:38. Fort Wayne’s Ben Jones swiveled from the left post to send a pass to Verpaelst, who shot the puck from 20 feet out. Hildebrand kicked the net off its mooring as the shot was en route, but referee Stan Szczurek decided to allow the goal since Fort Wayne had nothing to do with that action.
The Wings tied it on an Austin Farley shot off a rebound, during a power play, 1:22 into the third period.
Ferguson finished with 27 saves. Hildebrand had 21.
Notes: The Komets remained without leading-scoring Brady Shaw (concussion), all-star Shawn St-Amant (upper body) and Brad Morrison (lower body), though they’re considered day-to-day. … Chase Stewart and Kyle Haas have two games left to serve in their six-game ECHL suspensions for their parts in a fight Jan. 31 at Jacksonville, Florida. … Scratched were Gage Torrel and goalie Patrick Munson. … The Komets play host to the Indy Fuel at 8 p.m. Friday at the Coliseum.