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The Journal Gazette

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Ryan Lowney of the Komets fights for posession over the puck with Radovan Bondra of the Indy Fuel during the second period at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Shawn Szydlowski of the Komets prepares to score against the Indy Fuel during the second period Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Marco Roy of the Komets attempts to move the puck out of enemy scoring territory during the second period against the Indy Fuel at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Shawn Szydlowski of the Komets rubs the head of Indy's Miles Liberati into the ground during the first period at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Zach Fucal of the Komets prepares to deflect a shot made by the Indy Fuel during the first period Saturday night at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Kevin Gibson of the Komets passes the puck behind his goal to avoid Indy Fuel offense during the second period at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Mason Baptista of the Komets scores against the Indy Fuel during the first period at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night.

Saturday, January 05, 2019 10:20 pm

K's win again, hitting stride

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Komets might be starting to hit their stride. They have won six of their last eight games, including tonight’s 3-2 victory over the Indy Fuel.

That includes a three-game winning streak since team president Michael Franke lambasted the team for its inconsistency in the wake of a 4-3 loss to the Brampton Beast on New Year’s Eve.

This was the first game at the Coliseum since then – there were 7,441 fans in the building – and the Komets delivered a victory despite playing their third game in as many nights, in as many cities.

Shawn Szydlowski’s second-period goal was the winner for the Komets (19-14-1), who are in third place in the Central Division, three points ahead of Indy (18-16-0) and Wheeling.

Jake Kamrass assisted on two goals. He has tallied at least one point in 12 of the last 13 games, totaling five goals and 15 points.

Taylor Crunk, whose screen was an essential part of Trey Phillips’ third-period winning goal in Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Cincinnati, paid the price to help set up the first goal tonight. Coming over the blue line, he dropped a pass just as he was crushed by a Dmitry Osipov body check. The puck was scooped up by Justin Hodgman, who snapped a shot from the left circle past goaltender Matt Tomkins at 10:24 of the first period.

The Komets scored again on their sixth shot, with Kamrass skating from behind the net to send a shot into the crease for Mason Baptista to swat the puck in at 13:23.

Indy’s Brett Welychka answered with a wrist shot from just inside the blue line at 16:25 that sailed through a crowd of players, including goalie Zach Fucale.

Szydlowski regained a two-goal lead for Fort Wayne by taking a pass from Kamrass at center ice, breaking into the offensive zone, faking a pass to Kamrass and snapping a shot from the right circle into the top of the net 4:01 into the second period.

Again, the Fuel answered, an Osipov blue-line shot deflecting off Fucale’s blocker and into the air, where Indy’s Quentin Shore batted it to the ice with his glove and slipped a shot inside the right post.

Fucale stopped 25 shots. Tomkins stopped 25.

Before the game, Marco Roy was returned to the Komets by Chicago of the higher-level American Hockey League. Roy had one goal and two points in 12 games, over two stints, with the Wolves. In 13 games with the Komets this season, he has five goals and 12 points.

Notes: For the third straight Komets game, there was controversy over the ECHL’s lack of use of video replay except for the arenas in Kalamazoo, Toledo, Idaho and Worcester. Many in the building though a Ryan Lowney shot in the second period might have gone in, and they also would have liked the Shore goal to be looked at for a potential hand pass. On Thursday, in the Komets’ 4-1 victory at Indianapolis, a clear Komets goal was missed. On Friday, a Cincinnati goal was missed. … The Komets played without Jordan Sims (hip), Alexander Kuqali and Ryan Siiro. … The referee was Anthony Tapper.

jcohn@jg.net