Rookie defenseman Chase Stewart, welcome to the rivalry!
His goal at the end of a 2-on-1 rush in overtime gave the Komets a 3-2 victory over the Toledo Walleye at Memorial Coliseum tonight.
It was the Komets’ first victory of the season over the Walleye, after losing three previous meetings.
Fort Wayne goaltender Zach Fucale was solid early, turning away an early Brenden Kotyk shot at the end of a 2-on-1 rush. Fucale got a little help from defenseman Ryan Lowney, who flipped the puck from harm’s way after T.J. Hensick had used a backhand move to get around Fucale.
After Toledo’s Charlie O’Connor opened the scoring with a breakaway goal at 12:59 – the teams were skating 4-on-4 – Fucale recovered quickly by stopping Greg Wolfe at the end of an odd-man rush.
Toledo’s Ryan Obuchowski made it 2-0 with a shot from just inside the blue line 10:35 into the second period.
As the 9,034 fans got antsy – thousands were clutching stuffed animals to be tossed on to the ice after the first Fort Wayne goal – the Komets got their goal from J.C Campagna during a power play at 17:54. After a Marco Roy pass, Campagna netted a one timer and the stuffed animals littered the ice to benefit the non-profit Disorderly Bear Den.
(Video from the game is above.)
Campagna has scored a goal in five straight games for the Komets, who play Saturday at Cincinnati, Ohio, where they won 4-3 on Wednesday when Jordan Sims scored in the eighth round of a shootout that hadn’t previously seen a goal.
The Komets tied it at 2 just 1:39 into the third period, when Roy crashed the net and redirected a Lowney shot from the blue line.
Toledo netminder Kaden Fulcher, a rookie, forced overtime by stopping Anthony Petruzzelli’s shot at what looked like an open net off the rebound of a Justin Hodgman shot with 20 seconds left in regulation time.
In regulation time, Fucale stopped 34 shots and Fulcher 31.
Fort Wayne scored on 1 of 2 power plays and Toledo was 0 for 3.
In overtime, Fulcher stopped Hodgman from point-blank range with 1:47 left; the shot got underneath him, though he sprawled on top of it with some help from Obuchowski.
Notes: Fort Wayne lost defenseman Cody Sol to an undisclosed injury 5:00 into the first period on a check from Ben Storm in the corner. … Credit for a goal from Wednesday’s game has been changed from Stewart to Justin Kea. … Mike Rosati, goaltending development coach and scout with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, was in attendance to watch Fucale.