TOLEDO – When the Komets look back at this game, they will see the missed opportunities.
But that’s not really anything new these days for a team that has scored just seven goals over the last five games.
If you can’t score goals, you can’t win in this league, Fort Wayne coach Al Sims said, after a 6-3 loss to the Toledo Walleye on Sunday.
I said that last night, and I’m saying it again tonight. We had a 2-on-0 breakaway and nothing. Are you kidding me? We didn’t even get a shot on net. It’s beyond anything I’ve seen.
The Komets should have been up three goals heading into the third period at the Huntington Center, but instead they were tied at 2 with Toledo, which unleashed a flurry of three goals in the span of four shots to take control in front of 6,083 fans.
The Komets (26-26-2) have lost five in a row and seven of their last nine, dropping them to 10th place in the Eastern Conference.
They have 18 games remaining to make up four points and get into the eighth and final playoff spot.
The team is actively investigating trades in anticipation of the March 7 trade deadline.
We’ve just got to work harder, said forward Matt Syroczynski, who along with Brett Smith and Brandon Marino scored for Fort Wayne. That’s the only thing I know that works, is that everybody has to work harder. We’re getting the chances. We’ve got to bury them.
In the first two periods, forward Eric Giosa missed a wide-open net, Syroczynski missed a wraparound with goaltender Jordan Pearce out of the net and forward Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock missed the net entirely on the aforementioned 2-on-0 rush.
We had a lot of chances, Syroczynski said. We’ve got to get to practice Tuesday and practice scoring, practice defense and practice everything. Nothing’s working right now, so we’ve just got to work.
Toledo (29-18-6) got goals from Nino Musitelli, Kyle Rogers, Randy Rowe, Byron Froese, Cody Lampl and former Komet Stephon Thorne.
They get two or three chances in the third period and they’re in the net. Bang, bang, bang and it’s over, Sims said. All the hard work is not rewarded.
Pearce stopped 32 of 35 shots.
Fort Wayne’s Charlie Effinger stopped 23 of 28.
Referee Don Jablonski awarded only two power plays in the game – Toledo was 0 for 2 – though Marino’s goal came with a delayed penalty and the goalie pulled
Notes: The Komets played without goaltender Marco Cousineau (groin), forwards Mike Hoban (shoulder) and John Dunbar (lower body), plus defensemen Brent Henley (healthy) and Scott Kishel (hand).