Garrett Thompson hat trick helps Komets end slump in Toledo
Over their previous 16 games in Toledo’s Huntington Center, the Fort Wayne Komets were 2-14-2. The Walleye headed into Wednesday’s schoolday game with an undefeated 7-0 home mark, the best start by a Toledo team since 2002-03. And then the Komets trailed 2-1 late in the third period.
A day after Komets coach Gary Graham asked his team when enough was going to be enough, the Komets rallied to beat Toledo 5-2 during a schoolday game on Wednesday morning.
The Komets scored three goals in 3:17 to silence the Walleye crowd of 7,542. The Komets are 6-1 over their last seven games and 3-0 in December.
Garrett Thompson remained red-hot with a hat trick for five goals goals in two games, giving him eight points over his last three games. Linemate Shawn Szydlowski had two assists to extend his point-scoring streak to seven games, with eight goals and 19 points over his last 12 games.
Goaltender Michael Houser made 29 saves to improve to 5-1 over his last six games, giving up 13 goals and stopping .945 percent of the shots against him. Houser is now 12-4-0 during his career against the Walleye with a 2.45 goals against average and a .916 save percentage.
The defense was tremendous, holding the Walleye without a shot on goal for the first 7:29, and allowing only two power-play goals. Toledo’s first power-play goal ended a Fort Wayne string of 13 consecutive penalty kills, and 21 of 22.
Louick Marcotte and Curtis Leonard scored the other Komets goals, with Cody Sol getting two assists and Bobby Shea getting his first point of the season on an assist.
ICING THE PUCK
The Komets return home for Star Wars night on Saturday against Quad City. Orlando is in Sunday… Jamie Schaafsma, Gabriel Desjardins and Artur Tyanulin returned to the Fort Wayne lineup, while Jason Binkley missed with an undisclosed lower-body injury… Center Dennis Kravchenko also missed the game after being placed on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 25 with a back injury… Former Komet Simon Denis rejoined the Toledo lineup after missing the last month with an injury… Unfortunately, the Komets and Walleye only play three more times the entire rest of the regular season. Toledo comes to Fort Wayne for New Year’s Eve, and the Komets go to Toledo on Jan. 12 and April 6… The Komets are now 4-3-1 all-time in schoolday games which is pretty good considering they have all been played on the road.