FORT WAYNE – Good hustle? Check.
Lots of scoring chances? Yep.
A home win? Nope.
The Komets lost 3-2 Friday to the Greenville Road Warriors at Memorial Coliseum despite having 43-21 shot advantage, a frustrating outcome for a Fort Wayne team that’s hoping to break from its trend of losing on home ice.
We competed. We had some good puck possession. We were better in every aspect of our game, said coach Gary Graham, whose Komets lost 4-1 to the visiting Kalamazoo Wings in their previous game when Fort Wayne could have pulled into a tie for first place atop the division.
(Against Greenville), guys were working, guys were battling, and I’m very proud of the effort the guys put forth tonight. Obviously, we wanted the two points tonight, but I’m not disappointed.
The game was tied at 2 before Greenville finished off a 3-on-1 rush with an Andrew Rowe rebound goal 2:33 into the third period. Rowe’s shot was going wide before it caromed off the skate of Fort Wayne defenseman Simon Danis-Pepin.
Greenville (29-20-5) has won eight of its last nine games.
Fort Wayne (25-18-11) dropped to 9-8-9 at the Coliseum, where a crowd of 8,202 watched Friday night. The Komets have won only two of their last eight home games.
I think the effort was there tonight, but it wasn’t the result we wanted and that’s all, said Komets defenseman Joe Hartman, who opened the scoring 4:16 into the first period, when his shot from the top of the right circle ricocheted off a Greenville player and slipped past goaltender Jason Missiaen.
They took advantage of the opportunities they were given and we weren’t able to do that. And that’s why the result was a win for them. It’s unfortunate, but we have to be able to look past this.
Greenville tied it at 16:27 when a shot from the point by defenseman Andrew Himelson was redirected by right wing Scott Arnold and the puck bounced underneath goalie Andrey Makarov.
A pass from the right corner by Greenville winger Lindsay Sparks set up forward Josh Nicholls in front, where he spun and scored on a backhand shot for a 2-1 lead 10:23 into the second period.
The Komets evened it at 19:10, when forward Kenton Miller sent a pass from the left corner and right wing Shawn Szydlowski smacked in the puck in as he fell to the ice.
Ultimately, though, the Komets couldn’t finish off enough of their scoring chances.
We competed hard tonight, Graham said. If you look at the game, it’s the storyline again of which team is more opportunistic. We had breakaways, 2-on-1s, (but) guys missing the net on clean scoring chances.
Notes: Komets forward Jason Dale, who reinjured his groin Wednesday, will miss at least four weeks. The Komets are hopeful he won’t require surgery. Former Komets forward Jean-Michel Rizk didn’t play because of a concussion.