Toledo power play continues to dominate Fort Wayne
News-Sentinel staff report
Sunday, January 08, 2017 8:27 PM
The Fort Wayne Komets never trailed until the end Sunday, losing three one-goal leads and the game to the Toledo Walleye 4-3 in overtime.
The Walleye lead the third-place Komets by nine points in the ECHL's Central Division. Tulsa won in Greenville on Sunday to jump one point up on the Komets for second place. The Oilers, who come to Fort Wayne on Friday, have played six more games than the Komets, 20-9-4.
Yet again, the penalty kill was a huge problem for the Komets against Toledo. The Walleye have scored 10 power-play goals in 21 attempts this season over four games against Fort Wayne, all Walleye victories, including two in four chances Sunday. The Komets have an excellent 89 percent effectiveness every game except those against the Walleye this year.
The Komets led three times on goals by Mike Embach, Shawn Szydlowski and Garrett Thompson, but they could never protect the advantage. Embach gave Fort Wayne a 1-0 lead in the first period, but Zach Nastasiuk answered with a power-play goal. The same thing happened after Szydlowski scored a short-handed goal in the second period as Beau Schmitz scored with the man advantage.
It looked like Thompson's goal driving the net off a Gabriel Desjardins pass might give the Komets the lead for good 7:59 into the third period, but Alden Hirschfeld scored from in front at 12:25 to force overtime.
Nolan Zajac scored 49 seconds into the extra period to give the Walleye the win. The Walleye are 3-0 against the Komets in Toledo this season with one game remaining, April 2. Toledo comes to Fort Wayne for the last last time in the regular season on April 5.
Toledo's first three goals all came around the Fort Wayne net and in traffic near goaltender P.J. Musico who made 26 saves. The Komets were out-shot 30-24.
Komets forward Kyle Thomas lost his 10-game point-scoring streak, but Embach extended his to eight games (12 points).
Fort Wayne is still 7-2-1 over its last 10 games, but has been unable to gain ground on Toledo which is 9-2-1 over its last 12 games.