“The Rematch” took place Saturday night in Wheeling, West Virginia, after a wild Friday night game that finished with a 6-4 victory for the Komets but also included 79 penalty minutes for the K’s and 83 for the Nailers.
Wheeling jumped out in front after Brooklyn Kalmikov scored at 3:42, causing the Komets to start from behind again. One minute and 15 seconds later, Samuel Tremblay added another Nailers goal, and the K’s were down 2-0, a very familiar start from the night before. The Komets, however, could answer back after Mark Rassell dropped off a beautiful pass to Shawn Boudrias for a shot and score.
The Komets kept the pressure on when Oliver Cooper found Matt Alvaro from behind the net, and things were tied at 2.
The tie did not last long as Wheeling was able to cause a turnover, and a lost stick by Komets goalie Corbin Kaczperski gave Gianluca Esteves an easy opportunity for the Nailers to go up 3-2 at 11:56. The battle between Matt Boudens and Tyler Drevitch continued from Friday night as both were hit with unsportsmanlike conducts and as soon as they made it out of the penalty boxes they each landed another 2-minute unsportsmanlike penalty except Drevitch also got himself 10-minute misconduct. A costly late-period penalty gave Wheeling a four-on-three power play, and Cédric Desruisseaux connected for his second goal of the game to put the Nailers up 4-2 at the end of the first period.
Dan Maggio got the only score in the second period on the power play with a zinger from the blue line to bring it to a 4-3 Nailers lead. During the second period, the Komets often found themselves in the penalty box committing four penalties.
Fort Wayne started the third period on a penalty kill, but that did not stop Rassell from breaking away and tying things up at four at 2:06 of the third period.
Marcus McIvor put a shot in front of the net where Jacob Graves got his stick on it and put the K’s up for the first time in the game. The goal was reviewed for several minutes at a possible interference call regarding Oliver Cooper, but the goal remained, and the Komets were up 5-4 with 15:07 left in the third period.
That lead, however, did not last long as the Komets were unable to get the puck out of the defensive zone, and Chris Ortiz scored to tie things back up at 5. Cooper answered right back for his 17th goal of the season and 2nd of the game off of a perfect pass from Adam Brubacher at 7:13.
Another official review took place to look over a possible Wheeling goal, but it was decided that it did not cross the line keeping Fort Wayne up 6-5 with 9:36 left in the game. Scoring chances went back and forth throughout the third period. Still, the Komets and Kaczperski were able to shut the door, including holding off the final minute while on a penalty kill and facing the extra skater from the Nailers pulling Barone. The Komets finished the game with six goals on 29 shots, while Kaczperski made 28 saves on 33 shots.
Tonight’s game was the 300th professional game for the Fort Wayne hometown kid Blake Siebenaler. The Komets return home Sunday night with a matchup against the Indy Fuel with major playoff implications as the Komets now only trail the Fuel by 8 points for the three-seed in the Central Division while having two games in hand. The puck drops at 5:00 pm as Fort Wayne looks for their 5th straight win.