FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Toledo Walleye battled the Fort Wayne Komets in their first head-to-head meeting since an 11-0 whitewash just seven days ago, but couldn’t find their offensive touch as they fell 4-1 on Saturday at the Memorial Coliseum.
The regulation loss was the second for the Walleye (33-17-5-3) in their last 10 meetings against the Komets (29-20-3-6), as Toledo carries a 6-2-2-0 record in the regular season series. If the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs presented by Smile Direct Club started today, Toledo and Fort Wayne would square off in the Central Division Semifinals.
The Komets drew first blood with a power play goal 3:17 into the contest. After faking a shot from the right point, Ryan Lowney set up Shawn Szydlowski at the top of the left circle for a one-timer that sailed into the top right corner.
Tyler Spezia evened the score with his 11th goal of the campaign later in the frame. Dylan Sadowy’s shot from the left point was steered aside by Zach Fucale, but Spezia gloved the rebound behind the Fort Wayne net and buried a sharp-angle shot from near the right goal line at the 13:26 mark. With the secondary helper on Spezia's goal, Marcus Crawfordhas picked up an assist in each of his last six outings.
The hosts reclaimed their one-goal edge just over eight minutes into the middle stanza. Lowney’s one-timer from the right point appeared to ricochet off the right glove of Mason Baptista, who spun around and reached out to chip a backhanded effort over a sprawling Kaden Fulcher.
The Komets padded their lead with goals on back-to-back shots early in the final frame. Szydlowski notched his second goal of the night on a breakaway attempt 2:54 into the final frame, before J.C. Campagna struck 40 seconds later when he showed stunning patience on a 2-on-1 and wristed a shot between Fulcher’s right arm and body.
Fort Wayne finished 1-for-4 on the power play, while Toledo was unable to convert on six opportunities. Fucale blocked 29-of-30 shots to earn third-star honors, as Fulcher turned away 25-of-29 in defeat.
What’s Next:The Walleye conclude their three-game road trip on Sunday as they pay the Indy Fuel a 3:05 p.m. visit.
Three Stars:1. Fort Wayne – Shawn Szydlowski (two goals)2. Fort Wayne – Ryan Lowney (three assists)3. Fort Wayne – Zachary Fucale (W, 29 saves)