Komets have penalty issues; fall to Walleye in game one

RECAP

Toledo goaltender Jeff Lerg made 24 saves and even added an assist to lead the Walleye to a 2-1 victory over the Fort Wayne Komets in Game One of the second round in the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Komets forward Trevor Cheek had the lone goal for the Komets and forward Mike Embach added a helper. Walleye defenseman Landon Oslanski and forward A.J. Jenks netted the two goals for Toledo tonight.

FIRST PERIOD

The first period started quite uneventful, which is surprising given these two teams’ history. Komets goaltender Pat Nagle made a huge save five minutes in on Walleye forward Alden Hirschfeld to keep the game knotted at zero. The Komets finally broke free and took a 7-2 lead in shots on goal, but still couldn’t crack Walleye goaltender Lerg. The Komets killed off the only penalty, a Mike Embach cross-check. At the end of the period, there was a shoving match between Komets forward Travis Ewanyk and Walleye defenseman Jordan Hill and they got matching roughing minors. The Komets edged out the Walleye in shots on goal 7-6 at the end of the opening frame.

SECOND PERIOD

The crazy middle stanza started with Toledo breaking the scoreless tie with a wrister from the top of the circle by defenseman Oslanski on the power play 2:27 in. That was Oslanski’s third goal of the playoffs and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Walleye. Komets forward Cheek answered a little over eight minutes later with a wrister of his own to tie the game at 1. The Komets couldn’t stay out of the penalty box in the second with two penalties in about a minute. Toledo took advantage on the first penalty of two, as Jenks tipped home a Matt Caito shot from the point to retake the Walleye lead at 2-1. The middle frame ended with chaos, as Nagle took a two-hand slash at Walleye forward Tylor Spink and Cheek cross checked Spink afterwards, which drew a crowd with punches and cross checks happening everywhere in the Fort Wayne goal crease. The only penalty that came of the confrontation was a cross checking minor to Cheek. The second period ended with the Walleye leading 2-1 in goals and 19-17 in shots on goal.

THIRD PERIOD

The final frame was a goaltending duel between Nagle and Lerg as neither team got anything past either goaltender in the third. The Komets peppered Lerg in the final period, but couldn’t solve him, as Lerg stopped all eight shots in the final frame to lead the Walleye to a 2-1 victory over the Komets to take Game 1 of the series. The Komets beat the Walleye in shots on goal in the third period 8-5 and in the game 25-24.

NOTABLES

The Komets lose Game One of the second round to go behind 1-0 in the series against Toledo. Cheek netted the lone goal for the Komets. Walleye goaltender Jeff Lerg played outstanding and made 24 saves to lead the Walleye to victory. The Komets had six penalties and the Walleye scored both goals on the power play. The Komets went 0/2 on the power play tonight and 3/5 on the penalty kill.

THREE STARS

1.A.J. Jenks (TOL, GWG, 4 SOG)
2.Jeff Lerg (TOL, 24 SV, 25 SA, 1A)
3.Matt Caito (TOL, 2A, 2 SOG)

NEXT GAME

The Komets take on the Walleye in Game 2 of the second round at the Huntington Center in Toledo on Saturday, April 29 at 7:35 p.m. The Walleye lead the series 1-0.

About Evan Miller 46 Articles

My name is Evan and I am the beat writer for the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. I started on Blue HQ Media about seven months ago writing for the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets. I am an avid Indy Fuel fan. I love all Indiana sports aside from the Fuel, including the Pacers and the Colts. I started going to hockey games when I was one week old when my family had season tickets to the Fort Wayne Komets. We moved to the Indianapolis area about 11 years ago and I was ecstatic when it was announced that the Hallett family brought a professional hockey team back to Indy. I was even happier when I found out that would be competing in the ECHL, the same league as my (former) favorite team, the Komets. You can keep up with all Blue Jackets news and updates and talk hockey on my Twitter @evanbluehq.