FORT WAYNE – The Komets know where they don’t want to be tonight – in the penalty box.
They went up early in Game 4 of the Presidents’ Cup finals, thanks to forward Mike Vaskivuo’s penalty-shot goal 19 seconds into the game Saturday.
But Fort Wayne proceeded to take the next four penalties, giving up a game-tying power-play goal to Daniel Tetrault, and the Komets lost 4-3 to the Wichita Thunder.
The Komets are still up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series that continues tonight at Memorial Coliseum, but the more they take penalties, the better the Thunder’s chances at prolonging things.
We took too many penalties in the first (period), after Vaskivuo got a big goal, Komets forward Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock said. We outshot them and probably out-chanced them. It’s tough to beat anybody four times in a row, especially in the playoffs. We still feel confident. We hit (six) goalposts. We got the chances. We’re disappointed, but we’re still in a good spot and have to win the next one at home.
The Komets outshot the Thunder 39-21 Saturday and scored on two of eight power plays. The Thunder scored once on six power plays.
Fort Wayne is five for 16 on power plays in the series, and Wichita is two for 17.
If the Komets don’t win tonight, Game 6 would be at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita on Friday night.
We’ve just got to stay out of the box, Schrock said. Vaskivuo scored a big goal and we had all the momentum. And this series is all about momentum. Now we have to get the momentum back from them.
K’s on TV
The game tonight will be broadcast live on Xfinity Channel 81. Indiana’s NewsCenter will also have a live pregame show, starting at 7 p.m., with former Komets defenseman Guy Dupuis as a guest.
Wichita goalie Adam Russo will likely not play tonight, and Bryan Hogan will likely start. Hogan has stopped 79 of 81 shots in the series, compared with 37 of 45 for Russo. Fort Wayne’s Nick Boucher has stopped 100 of 113.
Ticket sales glitch
Because of a glitch with TicketMaster, there were only 3 1/2 hours Sunday for the Komets to sell tickets for Game 5 of the Presidents’ Cup finals tonight against Wichita. A Komets representative wasn’t able to give an accurate count of ticket sales because of the problem but said there were plenty of tickets still available.