"We've had a few and we're a confident team," defenseman Will Weber said. "That's not how you want to start the game, but there wasn't any panic. We know when we get down, we have the guys in the room to come back. "
Some of the fans were definitely panicking as Nagle was obviously struggling early, but he also got no help from his teammates who allowed the Fuel players wide-open shots. Josh Shalla ripped a slap shot from about 15 feet to score his seventh goal in five games against Fort Wayne this season. He's now got 19 goals in 30 career games against the Komets.
"How many times have we seen that shot?" Komets coach Gary Graham said. "The guy just as a knack for finding the back of the net. He might have the best shot in the league."
The Komets cut the margin to 3-2 by the end of the season period, but the Fuel scored a short-handed goal 1:32 into the third period to extend the lead to 4-2.
"When they went up 4-2 after the short-handed goal, that's when typically a team might fold," Graham said. "That's really when you want to see how a team responds. The next shift it was like it didn't happen, and we just kept going back to work."
Curtis Leonard ripped a slap shot past Indy goaltender Jake Hildebrand with 10:20 left, and the Komets thought they had the game tied on a Trevor Cheek blast with 5:26 remaining, but referee Mike Sheehan correctly ruled that Fort Wayne forward Travis Ewanyk was in the crease and waved the goal off.
That just added to the drama, as Kyle Thomas carried the puck behind the Fuel net to feed Cheek for another snipe with 34 seconds remaining to force overtime. That's when newly acquired Colin Mulvey pulled a trick on Indy's Kenny Ryan to get a turnover just inside the blue line.
"They had the puck behind the net," Mulvey said. "I know the guy who had the puck and I started saying his name and I distracted him. Luckily, Ewie was in the right spot at the right time and intercepted the puck and made a great pass to me."
Mulvey one-timed a slapshot from the side of the net that beat Hildebrand cleanly for the game-winner. It was Ewanyk's second assist of the night. Thomas had three, and Schaafsma and Jason Binkley each had a goal and an assist. Hildebrand faced 59 Fort Wayne shots, the third game in a row the Komets have set a season-high for shots on goal. Garrett Bartus made 19 saves in relief of Nagle to improve to 14-5-1.
"It's important for guys to know that when we're down two or three goals the game is not over," Schaafsma said. "We have that confidence that we can battle back. You have to give Hildebrand credit. He's a really good goalie and played great but when we get 59 shots it's going to be really hard for any goalie."
After winning five of their last six games, the Komets are eight points behind Toledo for first place in the ECHL's Central Division. They've played one fewer game than the Walleye which they'll make that up over the next four days as they play at Cincinnati tonight, at Kalamazoo on Sunday and at Kalamazoo on Tuesday.
For more on the Komets, follow Blake Sebring on Twitter at @blakesebring, at his blog tailingthekomets.com and on Facebook at Blake Sebring.
Komets comebacks this season of at least two goals
Missouri 5-1 Dec. 2, won 6-5 in OT
Toledo 4-1 Dec. 6, lost 5-4 in OT
Indy 6-2 Dec. 27, won 8-6
Indy 4-2 Feb. 4, won 6-4
Indy 3-0 Feb. 10, won 5-4 in OT