Officiating didn’t cost Komets a loss Saturday night
Though he missed some pretty blatant calls and generally had a pretty rough night, referee Liam Sewell did not cost the Fort Wayne Komets a victory Saturday night. They lost because of Cincinnati goaltender Anthony Peters who made 37 saves and stole a game for his short-handed team.
The Cyclones started with a quick 2-0 lead off rebounds off the same play.
“We lost a guy out of the corner on a rebound, and the second goal was the exact same goal with all 10 guys on the ice,” Komets coach Gary Graham said.
And then Peters made them stand up. The Komets couldn’t get any offensive traction against him until Shawn Szydlowski hit a power-play slap shot with 6:49 left to make it 2-1. Then the Cyclones scored a pair into empty nets to provide the final 4-1 margin.
The Komets out-shot the Cyclones 38-25, but Cincinnati is allowing only 2.53 goals per game.
“Both their goalies, obviously, that’s what they are winning with right now,” Graham said. “It doesn’t matter which one you are seeing, they have two extremely hot goalies. This week they played Toledo, Wheeling and us, three of the top offensive teams in the league. They shut out Toledo, Wheeling only scored one and we only scored one. They are finding ways of winning games. They had two chances, two goals in the first period.”
The Cyclones started the game with only nine forwards and five defensemen, and one of their forwards usually plays defense, but they played the perfect boring, simple road game. Playing their third game in three nights, the Komets lacked urgency early and it cost them. Again.
“We’re winning stats but losing games,” Graham said. “What that is is we’re losing the battles around out net front too much. The difference right now most of the time when we lose these tight games is that we either don’t win the net front battle in the offensive zone burying rebounds or we are giving up too many easy goals around out net area. That was the story tonight. They won the battle in the paint for sure.”
The Cyclones are now 9-3-0 over their last 12 games, while the Komets are 5-3-2 at home.
Before the game, the Komets traded future considerations to Orlando for center Logan Nelson. At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, he gives the Komets some needed size at center. Every deal they’ve made the past two weeks has been to add size to the forwards.
“We’re trying to find the right mix of size and skating and bigger centers,” Graham said.
The Komets played Jamie Schaafsma and Mason Baptista at center Saturday night and would prefer to get them back on the wing to spark their offense.
Icing the puck
Louick Marcotte returned to the Komets lineup after missing a game. He blocked a shot on Thursday with his arm… Dennis Kravchenko missed Saturday’s game after getting hit Friday in Indianapolis. Graham said he has a sore neck… The Komets signed SPHL forward Joseph Widmar from Peoria… The Komets have the third-best offense in the ECHL and have allowed the fewest shots per game at 27.4… As to who’s hot, Gabriel Desjardins has six goals and eight points over his last five games, Dennis Kravchenko has six goals and nine points over his last six games and Shawn Szydlowski has six goals and 13 points over his last nine games.