The Fort Wayne Komets (25-17-4-2) started their Eastern Conference Southern Division road trip Wednesday morning for a brunch-style hockey matchup against the South Carolina Stingrays (29-15-4-1). Goal scoring did not get the memo about the early morning puck drop, as the first two periods were scoreless. The Komets were able to make survive the first two periods and hold the Stingrays to no goals despite having five penalties, including a bench minor for too many men on the ice, and also two different delay of game calls. In this morning’s game, Komets were third in the ECHL on the penalty kill at 83.8 percent (191-for-228).
A roughly 20-minute delay was held at the beginning of the third period due to ice issues; this allowed all the elementary students in attendance to get plenty of karaoke and dancing in but did mean that both goalies were pitching shutouts had about 40 minutes off the ice. Shawn Boudrias scored his team-leading 24th goal of the season, extending his point streak to six games and adding to an impressive last ten games, including ten goals and five assists. Mark Russell got the assist as he hustled down the ice and put a shot attempt on Stevenson, and the rebound popped out right to Bourdias for the goal at 4:53 in the third.
Komet’s once again found themselves in the penalty box, causing a five-on-three advantage for South Carolina for the second time in the game. Komets did, however, find a way to kill the power play, but shortly after, the stingrays found the back of the net at 12:17.
Joe Masonius picked up a costly double minor roughing penalty and game misconduct for inciting. This penalty gave the Stingrays a two-minute power play for the third period. Josh Wilkins put one past Fanti on the rebound, which came right back into the middle of the ice for the game-winner.
Komet’s pulled Fanti for the final minute but could not get anything going, and South Carolina scored with less than two seconds left to take the game 3-1. The Komets were outshot 40-34 on the day. South Carolina’s Clay Stevenson, who is 8th in the ECHL with a .917 save%, showcased that throughout the game. Fort Wayne had a total of nine penalties on the night. Fanti was able to make 37 saves on 39 shots.
Darren Kielb returned to the Komets after playing a few games in Bakersfield. Darren, a defenseman, had a hat trick earlier this season for the K’s. Next up for the K’s is a two-game series starting Friday night at Savannah to take on the Ghost Pirates, followed by an afternoon delight game on Sunday in Atlanta at 3:00 pm EST.