The Komets kept coming back and coming back. But they couldn’t quite get over the hump.
Jared Thomas had the winning goal in the fifth round of the overtime shootout, as the Indy Fuel defeated the Komets 4-3 at Indianapolis.
The Komets came back from one-goal deficits three times. And they even tied it at 1 in the shootout with a Brandon Hawkins goal after Terry Broadhurst had scored.
Dylan Ferguson stopped 37 of 40 shots and 3 of 5 shootout attempts for the Komets. Indy’s Billy Christopoulos stopped 39 of 42 shots and 4 of 5 in the shootout.
The Komets have allowed the first goal in nine consecutive games and they’ve gone 3-5-1 in that span.
Indy’s Broadhurst opened the scoring by splitting the defense and flicking the puck above Ferguson’s stick 3:52 into the first period at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
The Komets’ offense then generated a flurry of opportunities – including a Nick Boka shot from 14 feet out and a Marco Roy breakaway – but it was Hawkins who tied it off a rebound at 17:38, during a Fort Wayne power play. Hawkins was a teammate of Christopoulos two weeks ago with Rochester of the higher-level American Hockey Leagues.
The Fuel’s Spencer Watson made it 2-1 at 1:03 of the second period, putting in the rebound of a Willie Raskob shot. The Komets’ Anthony Nellis answered at 8:51, thanks to a Hawkins pass from off the right goalpost, but Indy’s Nick Hutchison made it 3-2 on a wraparound at 14:23.
There were three fights in the second period: Morgan Adams-Moisan vs. Jordan Schneider; Nick Boka vs. Nic Pierog; and Justin Vaive vs. Hutchison on the faceoff after the latter scored.
Goaltending continued to shine in the third period, when Christopoulos foiled Oliver Cooper and Marco Roy on shots from point-blank range and Ferguson thwarted Jared Thomas at the end of a 2-on-2 rush. But Fort Wayne’s Alan Lyszczarczyk tied it with a 42-foot slapshot that slipped just inside the crossbar at 14:08.