Right now the Fort Wayne Komets have a bigger problem than winning games. They can't score any goals to even be competitive in the games.
The Komets lost their fourth game in a row Saturday night, falling to the Evansville IceMen 4-2 before a sellout crowd of 10,380 at Memorial Coliseum. Fort Wayne has scored five goals in those four games and only 22 over their last nine games.
``We're struggling to score big-time right now,'' Komets coach Al Sims said. ``At least we got to two tonight, but it's got to be playing on everybody's minds, I'm sure. Confidence is a big part of it.''
The Komets out-shot the IceMen 30-24, but they also hit a couple of goalposts, and Evansville goaltender Paul Dainton played very well. Fort Wayne's power play continues to be impotent with no scores in four chances.
The one positive for the Komets was the return of captain Colin Chaulk to the lineup after missing 33 games with shoulder and foot injuries.
``We have to stop saying we can't score, and start believing we can score and it will happen,'' Chaulk said. ``You need to believe it. You can't think it, you can't hope it, you need to believe it. That's it, bottom line. Stop blaming the refs, stop blaming your linemates, just look at yourself, work hard, play together and it will happen.''
It especially needs to happen at home where the Komets are now 11-14 on the season.
With the return of Chaulk, Sims was able to put what should be potentially three talented lines on the ice. He put Chaulk between Matt Syroczynski and Brandon Marino, Brett Smith with Eric Giosa and Thomas Beauregard and J.M. Rizk between Kaleigh Schrock and Matt Firman with Garrett Klotz serving as the extra forward.
``I thought we had three solid lines tonight,'' Sims said. ``I thought for the first time we really had three lines that could do some damage similar to what we had last year. Maybe it's going to take a few games to get it going.''
The Komets' next opportunity is at 5 p.m. today in Toledo.
``We just need to stick together and play the system,'' Chaulk said. ``We have some guys back, and now we're going to be OK. I believe we're going to be OK, I know we're going to be OK, we just have to keep working hard.''