The Fort Wayne Komets outplayed the Toledo Walleye for the second game in a row, but come out on the short side of the stick again, as the Komets fell to the Walleye again 4-3 in overtime of Game 2 in the second round in the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs to give the Walleye a 2-0 series lead.
The Walleye wasted no time getting the scoring started, as Walleye forward Tyson Spink took a pass from his brother Tylor Spink and deked Komets goaltender Pat Nagle to take a 1-0 lead 22 seconds in. A little over halfway in, Komets forward and captain Jamie Schaafsma threw the stick of Walleye forward J.P. LaFontaine as they were headed to their respective benches. Schaafsma and LaFontaine each got minors for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Komets got the game’s first power play 16:09 in, as Walleye defenseman Landon Oslanski was called for holding, which might have saved a Komets goal. The Komets did not convert on the power play opportunity. With six seconds remaining in the first, the Komets took two absurd penalties. The first was on forward Shawn Szydlowski, who was called for tripping a Walleye player as he cut across the zone. The second was on forward Kyle Thomas, who slashed the stick of Walleye goaltender Jeff Lerg as he was headed to the bench for the delayed Szydlowski penalty. The Komets led in the shots on goal column at the end of the first 15-9, despite being down 1-0.
The second period was all Fort Wayne, as they out hustled the Walleye and beat them to every 50/50 puck. The Komets got an early power play 3:45 in, as Walleye defenseman Justin Agosta was called for hooking. The Komets did not convert and fell to 0/2 on the power play. Gabriel Desjardins got the Komets on the board first 8:40 in, with a knucklepuck that fluttered over Lerg’s shoulder. Forward Trevor Cheek and defenseman Cody Sol picked up assists on the tally. The Komets got another opportunity on the power play, as Walleye defenseman Beau Schmitz was called for slashing. Yet again, the Komets failed to convert, dropping to 0/3 in the power play in the game and 0/6 on the power play in the series. With 45 seconds left in the period, Szydlowski turned the puck over in the offensive zone to Walleye forward Kyle Bonis, who walked in on Nagle on a breakaway to retake the Walleye lead. With 30 seconds left, the Komets got yet another power play opportunity when Walleye defenseman Matt Caito cross-checked Komets forward Travis Ewanyk after the whistle in front of Lerg’s goal crease. After the second period, the Komets had a 27-16 lead in shots on goal.
The Komets started the third period with a goal by forward Kyle Thomas 3:49 in. Mike Cazzola was credited with the lone assist. Less than three minutes later, Komets forward Travis Ewanyk and Walleye defenseman Landon Oslanski were both sent off for boarding and slashing, respectively. Neither team converted on the 4-on-4 opportunity. Dane Walters retook the lead for Toledo 13:35 in, going short-side on Nagle. Then, with 20 seconds left, Sol ripped one past Lerg from the top of the circle to tie the game at three. That goal would send the game to overtime. At the end of regulation, the Komets led the Walleye in shots on goal 40-28.
Nine seconds into overtime, Szydlowski got called for elbowing and sent the Walleye to an early power play. Walters converted and scored his second of the game to lift the Walleye to a 4-3 victory and a 2-0 series lead. The Komets ended the game ahead in shots on goal 41-30.
The Walleye defeated the Komets for the second game in a row to take a 2-0 series lead in the second round. Walleye forward Walters scored two goals, including the overtime game winner. Komets defenseman Cody Sol scored with 20 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime. Toledo forward Spink scored 22 seconds into the game to give the Walleye an early 1-0 lead. The Komets went 0/4 on the power play tonight and are 0/7 in the series. Fort Wayne has the best power play in the league, statistically. Walleye goaltender Lerg made 38 saves.
1. Dane Walters (TOL, 2G, 7 SOG)
2. Kyle Bonis (TOL, 1G, 1A, 5 SOG)
3. Tyson Spink (TOL, 1G, 1 SOG, +1)
The Komets take on the Toledo Walleye in Game 3 of the second round in the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs in Fort Wayne at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. The Walleye lead the series 2-0.