The Komets were 7.7 seconds away from victory.
And they didn’t get it.
Nick Sirota tied it for the Kalamazoo Wings in the waning second of regulation and David Pacan scored the winner by rushing into the Komets’ zone and tucking a backhand shot underneath goalie Andrey Makarov for a 3-2 win Friday night.
The Komets were incensed with Sirota’s game-tying goal and captain Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock was given a 10-minute misconduct for arguing with referee Stephen Reneau, and then given another misconduct for coming back on to the ice after the game with no jersey on.
“There were three faceoff interferences at the same time,” coach Gary Graham said of the tying goal. “They got mauled. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. We had guys literally getting mauled with two hands around them. They were pulling guys down backward. It was like a wrestling move. Why do you think their guys were open there?”
“It was blatant, double, triple faceoff interference. We were complaining the entire game telling them that they cheat on faceoffs over and over and over again. Yet do you see them get kicked out one faceoff? No, you do not. It’s home-ice advantage for the home team for a reason. They (are supposed) to set their sticks down for a reason. … How can you let a great game by both teams … go on that. I feel bad for the guys in our locker room.”
The Komets opened the scoring 13:28 into the first period, when Wings goalie Jordan Binnington gave up a big rebound on a Mike Embach shot and defenseman Jordon Southorn blasted the puck into the top of the net.
The Wings tied it 1:32 into the second period, as left wing Yannick Veilleux beat goaltender Andrey Makarov at the end of a 2-on-1 rush.
And then things heated up.
Fort Wayne’s Shawn Szydlowski laid out Chris Lawrence with a hip check at the blue line, and then they fought. Fort Wayne’s Jeremy Gates also fought Mitchell Good shortly thereafter.
Southorn scored again, at 8:33, with a wrist shot from 40 feet out for a 2-1 Fort Wayne lead.
Note: The Komets played without forward Jason Dale, who had a groin injury, according to general manager David Franke.
For more on this story return to www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. or see Sarturday's Journal Gazette.