The Journal Gazette
Thursday, April 01, 2021 1:00 am

Komets 6 Indy 3

Hawkins leads K's in win

Scores 4 goals in late comeback

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Brandon Hawkins scored four times and the Komets rallied in the third period to defeat the Indy Fuel 6-3 on Wednesday, in front of 1,630 fans at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis.

It was the Komets' first four-goal game since Shawn Szydlowski on Dec. 27, 2016.

“I'll be honest with you, my feet were moving and I had a couple of great linemates in Anthony Nellis and A.J. Jenks, so it was fun to play with them and our power play was clicking,” said Hawkins, who scored two power-play goals as the Komets were 2 for 3 with the man-advantage. “It's very easy to play when everybody's on their best game, so a lot is attributed to my linemates on this.”

Hawkins leads the team in goals (13) and points (21) in 19 games. He tied it at 3 with a 40-foot shot past Dan Bakala 10:00 into the third period. Morgan Adams-Moisan's winner came 1:17 later, at the end of an odd-man rush.

Hawkins added a power-play goal from a tough angle and Nellis scored an empty-netter, as Fort Wayne had all four goals and a 23-5 shot advantage in the third period.

“It was a pretty disappointing first 40 minutes, to be honest with you,” Komets coach Ben Boudreau said. “I didn't think our heads were in it and we weren't physically or mentally ready to go tonight. So it took a little talking to between the second and third (periods) to make sure we lit a fire under them and they really responded, which any coach would definitely respect. So it's not how we started the game, but it's how we finished.”

Dylan Ferguson had 15 saves for Fort Wayne (13-5-3). Bakala had 37 for the Fuel (25-12-3).

Coming into the night, Fort Wayne was 1-4-1 when trailing at the second intermission and Indy was 11-0-2 when leading. But the Komets took three victories from the four-game set between the teams.

Indy took a 1-0 lead when Matt Marcinew stole the puck from Zach Pochiro and skated in alone on Ferguson 10:10 into the first period.

Pochiro atoned less than 3 minutes later, as he and Jenks assisted on a Hawkins power-play goal.

Hawkins gave Fort Wayne a 2-1 lead when he flicked in the rebound of an Nellis shot 41 seconds into the second period. But Indy's Michael Pelech answered at 1:04.

On its 13th shot, the Fuel took a 3-2 lead; Tim Davison stole the puck at center ice to set up Jared Thomas, who skated in alone from the right circle to beat Ferguson.

“We came in the locker room after the second period and Benny and (assistant Olivier Legault) challenged us to come out and do what we do, and we came out with a win,” Hawkins said. “I think it was just a matter of the guys really stepping up and playing our game, and we come out with a win because of it.”

Notes: Forward Jason Cotton was recalled by Chicago of the American Hockey League. ... Goalie Jake Theut was waived.

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