For the second time this season, the Fort Wayne Komets will be trying to break a three-game losing streak when they face off against the Evansville IceMen at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Coliseum. The IceMen won the first game of the home-and-home doubleheader 6-1 on Friday night in Evansville.
Despite outshooting the IceMen 13-9 in the first period, the Komets fell behind 2-0, the ninth time in the last 11 games that an opponent has scored first. The Komets outshot the IceMen 19-13 in the second period, but fell further back, 5-0. Starting goaltender Marco Cousineau was replaced by Charlie Effinger early in the second period after giving up four goals on 16 shots.
Fort Wayne finally broke through in the third period as Brett Smith set up Thomas Beauregard for his 20th goal of the season.
The Komets, who have lost five of their last seven games, had no answer for the Evansville line of Todd Robinson, Josh Beaulieu and Kevin Baker as they combined to score three goals and nine assists.
Evansville was successful on both power-play attempts, giving Fort Wayne opponents 31 goals in the last 28 games. The Komets were held scoreless in their six chances and have been held to six goals in their last 79 power-play chances. The Fort Wayne offense has scored just 20 goals over the last eight games, but 13 of those came in two games.
ECHL North Division-leading Cincinnati increased its margin over the third-place Komets to 12 points with a 2-1 win over Trenton, but second-place Toledo lost at Kalamazoo 3-2 in overtime and leads the Komets by seven points. Fort Wayne needs to be aware of Kalamazoo, which has pulled within a point of the Komets.
With their recent skid, the Komets have dropped out of playoff positioning and into ninth place in the Eastern Conference, three points behind South Carolina. There are 20 games remaining in the regular season.
Tonight's game is Report Card Night, usually one of the best-attended Komets games of the season. The Komets will play at 5 p.m. Sunday at Toledo. The Komets Legends will play an alumni game against Toledo starting at 2 p.m.