Photos by Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Komets defenseman Ryan Lowney looks to take a shot during the first period Sunday against Quad City. The Mallards ended up scoring the lone goal in the period en route to their overtime shootout win.
Komets forward Marco Roy gets his stick caught in the mask of Quad City goalie C.J. Motte while being shoved by defenseman Kyle Bigos during the second period Sunday.
Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Quad City defenseman Kyle Follmer ties up Komets left wing Garrett Thompson as he attempts to take a shot during the second period Sunday. @cutline:left, blocks Komets left wing Garrett Thompson as he takes a shot at the goal in the second period at Memorial Coliseum on Sunday.
Monday, February 12, 2018 1:00 am
Quad City 4, Komets 3
Hot K's fall to hotter goalie
Fort Wayne's 6-game win streak ends as Mallards' Motte makes 60 saves
JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette
The Komets racked up 63 shots on goal Sunday, more than any team in the ECHL this season. Amazingly, the best save wasn't made by Quad City Mallards' goaltender C.J. Motte or even Fort Wayne's Garrett Bartus, though they certainly had plenty of memorable stops.
The best save came courtesy of Komets forward Mason Baptista, who slid across the crease in the first period to kick away a Matt Pohlkamp shot that was halfway over the goal line.
It wasn't enough, though, to prevent the Mallards from getting a 4-3 victory in an overtime shootout that snapped Fort Wayne's season-high six-game winning streak.
“Having that many shots and not many find the back of the net, it's definitely frustrating,” Komets forward Garrett Thompson said. “To have that much offense in the game, you expect to get the win and the two points. When you come up short, you just feel a little bit of defeat. It's a hard one to swallow for everybody, especially with the run we've been on. We're expecting a lot of each other.”
Expectations are high for the Komets (32-13-3), who are on an 11-1-1 run and came out of their set of four games in five days with seven of a possible eight points, and coach Gary Graham certainly wasn't complaining after his team fell to 1-1 in shootouts this season.
Jamie Tardif had the lone shootout goal. Fort Wayne's Shawn Szydlowski, Trevor Cheek and Gabriel Desjardins were foiled by Motte in front of 7,421 fans at Memorial Coliseum.
“To have the energy and the pace that we played at, and to have 63 shots, that was something else,” Graham said. “It was disappointing not to get the second point today, but I'm extremely proud of the group this week. It was a good week for us.”
The Komets got goals from Marco Roy, Dennis Kravchenko and Cheek, who extended his goal-scoring streak to five games as Fort Wayne's season record against the Mallards fell to 6-0-1 including Saturday's 5-1 victory in Moline, Illinois.
Tristan King had two goals and Keegan Kolesar the other as the Mallards (16-27-4) totaled 27 shots on Bartus, who had won his previous eight starts dating back to Dec. 20.
“We had some tough travel the last couple of days, and it was hard to come in today with a lot of energy,” Cheek said. “I thought we did actually bring a lot of energy and played a good, solid game. We just had a couple of breakdowns that cost us.”
The Komets bused 6 hours through snow Sunday morning while the Mallards' bus broke down.
The Komets' previous high for shots this season was 52 in a 5-0 victory over the Mallards on Dec. 30.
“Their goalie was absolutely lights out, stopping 63 shots and then getting three saves in the shootout. He's obviously a great goalie. ... What are you going to do? I thought we played great, played with a lot of jam, but he just shut the door on us,” said Justin Hodgman, whose assist gave him seven points in six games since returning from a shoulder injury.
Baptista's goal-scoring streak ended at five games.