The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, May 03, 2022 1:00 am

ECHL Playoffs Komets 4 Wheeling 3

7 the hard way: K's win in OT

Boudens nets Game 6 winner in odd fashion

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

It wasn't the prettiest sequence of events. But it certainly was effective.

A Zach Pochiro shot deflected high into the air and landed on the stick of the Komets' Matthew Boudens, who sent it through the legs of the Wheeling Nailers' Matthew Quercia, got it on the other side and sent a shot past goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon for a 4-3 overtime victory Monday night at Memorial Coliseum.

The Komets and Nailers now go to a decisive Game 7 of the Central Division semifinals 7:30 p.m. today at the Coliseum to see who advances to the Central Division finals against either Toledo or Cincinnati.

“It's a great hockey moment,” Komets coach Ben Boudreau said. “These type of moments are so few and far between that you have to enjoy it. I haven't been able to process it yet, just because there's the come-down from the emotion, but big-time players make big-time plays and Boudens was there for us again.”

Fort Wayne's Samuel Harvey stopped 30 of 33 shots. Guindon stopped 44 of 48.

Officiating has been a focal point of the series – the Komets were particularly displeased with the calls, or lack thereof, from their 3-2 loss Saturday at Wheeling, West Virginia – and Wheeling scored on 1 of 4 power plays Monday while Fort Wayne was 0 for 2.

The Nailers' Cam Hausinger, who had a hat trick, opened the scoring 14:22 into the first period, faking Harvey to the ice and slipping the puck around him, after Chris Ortiz fed him a centering pass. It came shortly after Guindon thwarted Mark Rassell from point-blank range.

The Komets answered, though, by scoring on back-to-back shots: Anthony Petruzzelli got to the rebound of a Lynden McCallum shot and back-handed it through a crowd and in at 17:59; and Pochiro intercepted a Félix Paré shot near the Wheeling blue line, then scored from 18 feet out at 18:19.

Hausinger scored again by slipping a rebound into the bottom of the net during a power play 43 second into the second period. Fort Wayne's Willie Corrin was in the penalty box for tripping Sam Houde at center ice.

McCallum netted his first goal of the playoffs to regain the lead for Fort Wayne, accepting Matt Alvaro's pass from the corner and redirecting it high on Guindon at 9:06. But Hausinger completed his hat trick – and tied it at 3 – by stationing himself in front of the Fort Wayne net and one-timing a Houde pass at 9:59 for his seventh goal of the series.

With Fort Wayne's Shawn Szydlowski serving his one-game suspension – for shoving an official as the teams departed the ice Saturday – the Komets' lineup had a different structure Monday. Boudreau inserted forwards Tyler Busch and Jordan Martel, scratched defenseman Joe Masonius, and went with only five defensemen, including Kellen Jones, who has split time between forward and defense.

Fort Wayne's Marcus McIvor, a defenseman, remained out with the facial injury suffered when he was sticked in the face during Game 4, and forward Brad Kennedy was a healthy scratch.

Notes: The referees were Nolan Bloyer and Logan Gruhl. ... The Komets also played without Marcus McIvor (facial injury) and Brad Kennedy. ... The Nailers scratched Luke Bafia, Jared Cockrell, Shaw Boomhower, Bo Hanson, and Tyler Drevitch.

Central semifinals

Komets vs. Wheeling


(Tied at 3)

Game 1: Wheeling 1, Komets 0

Game 2: Wheeling 4, Komets 2

Game 3: Komets 4, Wheeling 1

Game 4: Komets 4, Wheeling 3 (OT)

Game 5: Wheeling 3, Komets 2

Game 6: Komets 4, Wheeling 3 (OT)

Game 7: 7:30 p.m. today at Memorial Coliseum

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