Gabriel Verpaelst’s first game with the Komets was a success. He helped them to a 4-1 victory over the division-leading Cincinnati Cyclones, punctuated by a Verpaelst vs. Justin Vaive fight with 22 seconds remaining at the Heritage Bank Center in Cincinnati tonight.
The Komets scored four goals on their first 10 shots and finished with only 12 shots.
Brett McKenzie scored twice.
(Video highlights are above.)
Cincinnati’s Michael Houser, a former Fort Wayne goalie, stopped only eight shots. Fort Wayne’s Cole Kehler stopped 35, day after the Komets acquired Verpaelst from the Norfolk Admirals as part of the preseason deal that sent J.C. Campagna to Norfolk.
A crowd of 4,840 was on hand, as Fort Wayne (19-14-5) improved to 2-2-1 against Cincinnati (23-10-6).
The Komets opened the scoring when Alan Lyszczarczyk shot from 25 feet, Brady Shaw got to the rebound and took another shot, and then McKenzie swept that rebound into the net at 16:42.
Fort Wayne’s captain, A.J. Jenks, who had missed the previous three games with the flu, made it 2-0 at 16:42. A Taylor Doherty shot from the blue line, during a power play, ricocheted off Jenks, who found the puck, spun and sent it into the net.
The Komets got second-period goals from Shaw and McKenzie.
Cincinnati’s Justin Baudry netted a power-play goal from 40 feet out 8:53 into the third period.
Cincinnati scored on 1 of 6 power plays. Fort Wayne, which plays host to the Toledo Walleye at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, was 1 for 2.