TOLEDO, Ohio – Suffering at the hands of an opponent is bad enough. But when it’s to your archival, it’s even more so.
The Komets are certainly feeling that tonight as a 7-1 loss to the Toledo Walleye put Fort Wayne at 0-7-2 in the season series. Toledo has outscored Fort Wayne 41-18 this season.
And the teams meet again here 7:15 p.m. Saturday.
Fort Wayne’s Patrick Munson allowed six goals on 26 shots, getting too little defensive help, before he was pulled at the second intermission. Cole Kehler stopped 7 of 8 in his stead.
Toledo’s Billy Christopoulos stopped 37 shots.
The Komets’ dwindling hopes of getting second place in the division probably live only with a victory Saturday – Fort Wayne (27-22-8) is nine points back with 15 games remaining – but at this point the Komets just need to get some confidence against the Walleye (33-15-5) should the teams meet in the postseason.
It was DC Comics night at the Huntington Center, in front of 7,874 fans, and the Walleye wore Batman jerseys in the first period, Aquaman in the second and Superman in the third.
It took only three shots for the Walleye to open a 2-0 lead: Kyle Bonis scored on a one-timer at the end of a 3-on-3 rush at 3:12 of the first period and Nolan Gluchowski scored at the end of a 2-on-1 rush at 3:44.
But the Komets recovered – for a time.
Shawn Szydlowski netted the rebound of a Chase Stewart shot at 8:52 and Munson foiled Shane Berschbach on a redirection at 10:01, keeping Toledo’s lead at 2-1.
Munson had stopped 17 shots in a row before a flurry of opportunities resulted in Toledo’s Bonis slipping a backhand shot between the legs of Munson, who allowed three goals in the span of four shots in the second period. Toledo’s Gregor MacLeod scored after Olivier Galipeau coughed up the puck in the corner, and MacLeod scored again, making it 5-1 during a power play at 16:38 of the second period, after a tic-tac-toe passing play put him in position for a one-timer.
The Walleye got another power play – four of the first five penalties were on the Komets – with Joshua Winquist netting a 45-foot shot for a 6-1 lead at 18:50.
Fort Wayne’s Anthony Petruzzelli fought Toledo’s Dylan Zink 22 seconds into the third period. And Fort Wayne generated a lot of scoring opportunities with Alan Lyszczarczyk hitting the post from 8 feet out; a Matthew Boudens shot from the slot getting gloved by Christopoulos; A.J. Jenks being thwarted by Christopoulos at the end of a 3-on-2 rush; and Mason Bergh getting stopped at the end of a 2-on-1 rush.
Toledo's Shane Berschbach netted a power-play goal late in the period.
On power plays, Toledo was 3 for 5 and Fort Wayne was 0 for 3.
Notes: Before the game, the Komets got forward Drake Rymsha back from Ontario of the higher-level American Hockey League, where he has one assist in 11 games this season. With Fort Wayne, he has eight goals and 15 points in 18 games. … The Komets traded forward Gage Torrel to Florida for an undisclosed amount of cash, after he’d had two goals and nine points in 16 games with Fort Wayne. … The Komets scratched Stephen Baylis, Kyle Haas, Will Petschenig, Brad Morrison and Dylan Ferguson. … The referee was Casey Terreri.