Despite Sunday's 6-2 loss, the Fort Wayne Komets ended one of their longest road strings of the season with a 3-2 record.
That's about the only positive that came out of Sunday's game as the Solar Bears led 2-0 after the first five minutes and out-shot the Komets 30-12 through two periods. Brandon Marino scored in the first period, and Ryan Lasche scored his first goal as a Komet in the third period to help the Komets end a stretch of 21 power-plays without a goal.
The Komets have scored four power-play goals in 54 chances over their last 12 games. Before giving up two man-advantage goals to the Solar Bears on Sunday, Fort Wayne had allowed one power-play goal in its lsat 24 chances against.
One key to the Komets seems to be getting off to a good start. They are 6-1 when they score first, and Friday and Saturday was the first time this season they had scord first in back-to-back games. They won both those games, butwhen their opponents score first, the Komets are 5-10-1.
In another oddity, this is the first time since the Franke brothers bought the franchise in 1990 that the Komets have had to play the same opponent three nights in a row on the road during the regular season. They played Dayton the final three games of last season in a home-road-home series.
The Komets were playing short-handed throughout the series as Kaleigh Schrock had to sit out Friday's game on a suspension, center Brett Smith missed the series with a sore groin and captain Colin Chaulk missed Saturday and Sunday's games with a bum shoulder. Defenseman Brent Henley was also kicked out of Sunday's game in the first period for being the aggressor in a fight.
Despite the loss, the Komets are still third in the ECHL's North Division with 23 points, four behind second-place Toledo despite playing three fewer games than the Walleye. Eight points separate first-place Cincinnati from last-place Evansville in the division.
The Komets come home Wednesday night to play Kalamazoo before heading out again for road games Friday at Reading and Saturday at Wheeling.
Fort Wayne is in the midst of playing seven games in 10 days and 10 games in 16 days. The Komets play four games in five nights in four of the next five weeks.