On Wednesday, Komets coach Ben Boudreau lit into his players during the second intermission. On Friday, he didn't say a word, feeling it wasn't necessary.
Both nights, the result was the same – a dominant performance in the third period to secure a come-from-behind victory.
Marco Roy, Nick Boka, Mathieu Brodeur and Brandon Hawkins scored consecutive goals to give Fort Wayne a two-goal lead and Fort Wayne hung on for the 5-4 victory over the Jacksonville Icemen at Memorial Coliseum.
“I didn't think I needed to say anything during the intermission,” Boudreau said. “They knew that we needed to play a little more desperate.”
Roy scored from the right circle, putting a backhand shot between the legs of goaltender Logan Drackett, who had 22 saves in his professional debut. Boka took advantage of an A.J. Jenks screen to score from the blue line and tie it at 3. Brodeur's blistering shot from the blue line beat Drackett high, and Hawkins kept up his frenetic pace – he has a point in seven straight games and totaled nine goals and 13 points in the streak – with a tough-angle power-play shot.
Jacksonville's Brendan Warren finished the scoring, and goalie Louis-Philip Guindon had a couple big late saves to finish with 23 for the Komets (14-5-3).
The Komets defeated the Indy Fuel 6-3 on Wednesday, after trailing by one at the second intermission.
“I think the score was misleading tonight; it was a very defensive game on both ends, and to be honest they squeaked a couple through in the second and we didn't bury our chances in the first 40 minutes,” Boudreau said. “And then we really came out flying in the third. When our backs are up against a wall, I think that's a good sign of a good team that we find a way to push more rather than going into a shell. That's where the confidence comes out; we knew that we could score, and we found a way to do it.”
It was the first meeting between the teams since Jan. 31, 2020, when the Icemen won 5-4 in overtime of a fight-filled game that had 136 penalty minutes and resulted in 28 games worth of suspensions.
Fort Wayne defenseman Randy Gazzola opened the scoring with a power-play goal, on a shot from the blue line at 9:30, and it happened with former Komet Travis Howe in the penalty box. Jenks assisted on the goal to extend his point-scoring streak to five games, during which he has three goals and 11 points.
The Icemen's Brandon Gignac scored from the right circle at 8:49 of the second period. Jacksonville's Mike Szmatula scored on the next shot, 49 seconds later, and Ryker Killins made it 3-1 at 15:56.
Notes: Hawkins was named ECHL Player of the Month. ... Goalie Jeremy Helvig returned to Fort Wayne from Chicago of the American Hockey League. Defenseman Matt Murphy did, too.