Just a couple of weeks since the Fort Wayne Komets pulled off a four-goal comeback, they had it happen to them Friday night. Trailing 4-0 halfway through the second period, the Wheeling Nailers rallied behind Adam Krause's hat trick to stun the Komets 6-5 in West Virginia. Krause scored two goals in 18 seconds, including the game-winner off the pad of Komets goaltender Eric Hartzell from the goal-line.
With the return of Brady Vail, Jamie Schaafsma, Curtis Leonard and Gabriel Desjardins to the lineup, the Komets hoped everything would be fine, and they looked great early. Bobby Shea scored on a wrist shot and then drove the net to set up Mike Cazzola's tap in to give Fort Wayne a 2-0 lead after the first period. Then Schaafsma tipped in a Shawn Szydlowski blast, and Kyle Thomas got loose in front and the Komets led 4-0.
And then Fort Wayne quit playing offense. After out-shooting the Nailers 10-8 in the first period, the Komets were out-shot the rest of the game 32-13. As the ice tilted toward Hartzell, he crumbled, continually giving up rebounds in front, including one to former Komet Garrett Meurs which made it 4-3 early in the third period. The Nailers finished with four third-period goals.
Cazzola finished with a goal and two assists, Szydlowski had two assists and Schaafsma a goal and an assist.
Fort Wayne finished with three power-play goals on David Carr on five attempts, and the Nailers had two in five attempts against Hartzell who is 7-6-2 with a 3.20 goals against average and .896 save percentage. The Komets have allowed eight power-play goals on 31 attempts over their seven December games.
The Nailers broke a three-game losing strea, while the Komets are 13-7-3 and have lost two in a row on the road to fall to 5-5-3. They are 8-2 at home where they will play the Nailers in tonight's rematch.
The Komets still have Mason Baptista and Kyle Follmer on reserve and Pat Nagle, Taylor Crunk and Gabriel Baptista on injured reserve.