TOLEDO, Ohio – Brandon Hawkins scored twice on the power play, but the Toledo Walleye could not stifle the Fort Wayne offense as the Komets cruised to an 8-3 victory at the Huntington Center Friday night.
Hawkins found the back of the net in each of the first two periods, and John Albert added a shorthanded goal in the third, but the Komets outscored the Walleye, 3-1, in each of the first two periods and never trailed. The Walleye remain at the top of the Central Division standings with a 34-13-1-2 record despite the loss.
The Komets opened the first period with eight straight shots on goal, putting one past Billy Christopoulos at the 8:06 mark to take the early lead. Anthony Petruzzelli netted the power play goal, with Drake Rymsha and Will Graber assisting.
Marcus McIvor collected a high-sticking penalty at 13:34, putting the Walleye on their first power play of the game. Brandon Hawkins found the back of the net at 14:12 to tie the contest at one. Hawkins, assisted by TJ Hensick and John Albert, scored his 15th goal of the season with the tally.
The Komets regained the lead in the final two minutes of the period, scoring twice in 36 seconds to take the 3-1 lead into the first intermission. Shawn Boudrias netted the first goal with help from Kellen Jones at 18:06, while Matt Alvaro, assisted by Jones and Willie Corrin, added to the lead at the 18:42 mark. The Komets outshot the Walleye, 13-7, in the period.
The second period closely mirrored the first, with the Komets outscoring the Walleye, 3-1 in the frame. Shawn Boudrias netted his second power play goal of the game at the 4:45 mark after a Butrus Ghafari cross-checking penalty. Matt Alvaro and Connor Corcoran recorded the assists.
Just over two minutes later, Brandon Hawkins responded with his second power play goal to cut the Komets’ lead back to two. Randy Gazzola found Hawkins at the top of the left circle, who put the puck past Samuel Harvey for his 16th goal of the year. Matt Berry earned the secondary assist.
The Komets responded with two more goals in the final 11 minutes of the middle frame as Drake Rymsha and Oliver Cooper found the back of the net. Rymsha scored from the right side of the net after a pass across from Anthony Petruzzelli for the primary assist. Blake Siebenaler picked up the secondary assist. Cooper’s goal was assisted by Kellen Jones, who collected his third assist of the game as Cooper put the puck past Billy Christopoulos to extend the lead to 6-2.
Kaden Fulcher entered the game for the Walleye to start the third period, and he held the Komets scoreless for 6:27 before Willie Corrin netted an equal strength goal with Zach Pochiro assisting.
With 11:04 gone, Cole Fraser enterd the penalty box for holding, leaving the Walleye shorthanded. Just 13 seconds into the Fort Wayne power play, John Albert lifted the puck over Samuel Harvey’s left shoulder to give the Fish their third goal of the game. Conlan Keenan and Butrus Ghafari assisted.
With just over three minutes to play, the Komets capped off the scoring as Drake Rymsha lit the lamp for the second time. Pochiro also assisted on Rymsha’s goal, collecting two helpers in the final frame. The Komets skated to an 8-3 victory, snapping a four-game Toledo win streak in the season series.
The Komets edged the Walleye in shots on goal, 34-31, while both teams netted two power play goals. The Komets held the man advantage four times, and the Walleye went on the power play three times in the contest.
Samuel Harvey made 29 saves on 32 shots for the Komets to earn the victory in net for the visitors. Billy Christopoulos was credited with the loss for the Walleye. He saved 16-of-22 shots in two periods of play before Kaden Fulcher entered the game in relief. Fulcher saved nine of the 11 shots he faced.
The Walleye will continue their Pink in the Rink celebration on Sunday evening when they face the Cincinnati Cyclones for the final time this season. Puck drop from the Huntington Center is scheduled for 5:15 p.m.
- Fort Wayne – Drake Rymsha (two goals, assist)
- Fort Wayne – Shawn Boudrias (two goals)
- Toledo – Brandon Hawkins (two power play goals)