FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Toledo Walleye began a six-game road trip looking to capture their sixth straight win, but the Fort Wayne Komets had other plans, handing the Fish a 5-3 loss at Memorial Coliseum Wednesday night.
The Walleye scored three times in the first two periods but never led as the Komets outshot the Fish by 13. The loss brings the Walleye’s five-game win streak to an end, leaving their record at 45-18-1-2 through 66 games.
Fort Wayne opened the game with a power play goal at the 7:49 mark as Will Graber found the back of the net for his 26th goal of the season. Kellen Jones and Anthony Petruzzelli assisted as the Komets took the early lead following Ryan Lowney’s delay of game penalty.
Quinn Preston responded to tie the game just under four minutes later with an equal strength goal at 11:30. The goal was memorable for a pair of rookies as Preston scored his first professional goal and Reece Harsch added an assist for his first point as a pro.
With 15:25 gone in the opening period, Willie Corrin found the back of the net to give the Komets the lead for the second time. Brad Kennedy and Shawn Boudrias assisted as Fort Wayne recorded the final tally of the period. The Komets outshot the Walleye, 19-6, in the opening 20 minutes and held the 2-1 lead going into the second frame.
The Walleye quickly erased the Komets’ lead at the start of the second period as TJ Hensick deflected a Ryan Lowney shot into the net just 47 seconds into the frame. Hensick picked up his 21st goal of the season as Lowney and Matt Berry assisted to tie the game at two.
Fort Wayne took the lead once again at the 3:50 mark, also adding a goal with 10:04 gone to take its first multiple-goal lead of the game. Zach Pochiro scored the first goal with help from Adam Brubacher and Will Graber while Anthony Petruzzelli found the back of the net at the game’s midway point as Graber and Blake Siebenaler assisted.
Down two goals, the Walleye looked cut into Fort Wayne’s lead as the second period wound down. Toledo’s opportunity game with under four minutes left as Fort Wayne’s Shawn Boudrias was called for tripping at the 16:29 mark. With the Komets down a skater, Brandon Hawkins netted the puck from the top of the left circle to make the contest a one-goal game at 17:21. Randy Gazzola and TJ Hensick assisted on Hawkins’ 28th goal of the season.
The Walleye continued to search for the game-tying goal as the second period ended and the third began, but it was the Komets who scored at 14:27 after a long stretch of controlling the puck in the offensive zone. The goal came courtesy of Adam Brubacher, and Kellen Jones and Zach Tolkinen assisted.
The Walleye looked to make up a two-goal deficit with under six minutes to play, but Fort Wayne limited Toledo to three shots in the final five minutes. The Fish could not bring on the extra skater late in the period, and the Komets came away with the 5-3 victory to snap Toledo’s five-game win streak.
The Komets outshot the Walleye, 42-29, in the contest, including 19-6 in the first frame. The Walleye had three power play opportunities to Fort Wayne’s one, and each team converted once with the man advantage.
Samuel Harvey earned the win in net for the Komets, saving 26-of-29 shots while giving up three goals. Zach Driscoll was credited with the loss for the Walleye. He saved 37 shots while giving up five goals in the effort.
The Walleye will have Thursday off before facing the Komets Friday night for the 13th and final matchup between the two teams this regular season. Puck drop from Memorial Coliseum is set for 8 p.m.
- Fort Wayne – Will Graber (power play goal, two assists)
- Fort Wayne – Anthony Petruzzelli (goal, assist)
- Fort Wayne – Adam Brubacher (goal, assist)