Jacksonville Sports Day

ECHL: Icemen Defeat Komets for Season’s First OT Win

Phoyo by Katie Fyfe

By Justin A. Kohn

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – On a Saturday night when the Fort Wayne Komets turned the puck over incessantly, they still found a way to salvage a point in the standings. They even had an excellent chance to win in the 3-on-3 overtime, when they skated into the offensive zone with a 3-on-1 rush

But the Komets got too cute, allowing the Jacksonville Icemen’s Charles-David Beaudoin to break up Brady Shaw’s attempt to stickhandle across the slot.

That set up Garret Ross for a rush down the ice and a goal to cement a 6-5 Icemen victory in front of 7,906 fans at Memorial Coliseum.

“It was a sloppy game all the way through,” Shaw said. “It was a perfect ending to that game, me turning the puck over at the end and them scoring. It’s unacceptable. We have to be sharper. Everyone in the room knows it, I know it, and it’s a disappointing night.”

For the first time this season, the Komets (3-2-1) didn’t score first. And for the fourth straight game, they squandered a lead. They’d gone up 2-1 on goals from Shawn Szydlowski and Mason Bergh, the rookie who has a point in all six games and goals in four of them.

But the remaining mistakes would be too costly for Fort Wayne, which defeated the Icemen 4-3 in overtime Friday on a Max Gottlieb goal. A Gottlieb turnover Saturday set up Nikita Korostelev to skate out from behind goaltender Matthew Villalta and snap in a game-tying goal 3:59 into the second period.

“Tons, tons of turnovers,” Komets coach Ben Boudreau said. “There were turnovers and, six games in, there shouldn’t be an excuse. This isn’t a fallback. We weren’t good enough tonight.

“That’s a team right there with a coach (Jason Christie) who’s won (an ECHL-record 610) games in this league. They were more desperate than we were. We were lazy on our details. Our focus wasn’t there. Our execution wasn’t there. And within these walls here in the Coliseum, it’s just not good enough.”

Beaudoin made it 3-2 with a power-play goal from 35 feet out and then Chase Lang redirected a Beaudoin shot for a 4-2 Icemen lead at 9:51.

It seemed to spark the Komets, who got a terrific set up from Shawn St-Amant – spinning his way past a defender to send a pass across the crease – as Shaw scored at 12:05. A fight between Fort Wayne’s Matthew Boudens and Jacksonville’s Mitch Jones preceded an A.J. Jenks power-play goal at 15:18 on the redirection of a Szydlowski shot to tie it at 4.

“The positivity was there on the bench,” Shaw said. “We always think we have a fighting chance to come back. But we can’t keep digging ourselves a hole. That sounds like a broken record right now. It’s a long season and we’ll regroup, we have a week of practice here and we’ll try to figure some things out.”

After Jacksonville’s James Phelan regained the lead on a shot from 50 feet out, Boudens answered with a shorthanded that saw him get a breakaway and then jam the rebound underneath the goalie, Griffen Outhouse, at 19:37 of the second period. That was followed by another scrap, between Fort Wayne’s Kyle Haas and Ross.

Villalta stopped 24 shots. Outhouse stopped 30 for the Icemen (1-1-2). Fort Wayne scored on 2 of 5 power plays. Jacksonville was 1 for 4.

The Icemen return home on Wednesday, October 30 against the Atlanta Gladiators.

(Article by JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette)

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