Komets end wacky night with victory
The Komets endured one of the wildest : maybe painful would be a better description : goals possible. But their dominating performance in the third period, highlighted by Mason Baptista’s breakaway goal with his team playing short-handed, led them to a 5-3 come-from-behind victory over the Quad City Mallards.
The Komets held Quad City without a shot on goal during the first 13:59 of the third period and outshot them 15-5 in the period, 39-16 overall, in front of 7,696 fans at Memorial Coliseum.
But it was the weirdest shot that will be remembered, almost as much as the Komets’ seventh victory in their last eight games. And how’s this for weird? Komets captain Jamie Schaafsma had empty net goals into both teams’ nets.
With a delayed penalty coming against the Mallards’ Chris Francis for hooking, Schaafsma sent a pass from the corner of the offensive zone that missed his teammates, ricocheted off the dasher boards and went the length of the ice and into the net.
After much discussion among everyone in the press box, it was determined that the last Quad City player to touch the puck had been goaltender C.J. Motte, who got credit for the goal 1:32 into the game.
The only thing worse for the Komets than the way they gave up their first goal was that they gave up two goals on the first three shots credited to the Mallards.
A turnover at center ice set up a 3-on-1 rush for the Mallards that culminated with a Josh MacDonald goal for a 2-0 lead at 11:33.
The Komets answered 2:10 later, though, when Artur Tyanulin’s no-look backhand pass between the circles set up Logan Nelson for a goal from 15 feet out. It was Nelson’s first goal in 20 games this season, including four with the Komets.
After Garrett Thompson intercepted a clearing attempt by the Mallards, Fort Wayne’s Ryan Culkin tied it at 2 by scoring on a 45-foot shot during a 5-on-3 power play at 18:38. Greg Amlong was in the penalty box for delay of game and Kyle Bigos for cross-checking.
Despite out-shooting the Mallards 17-3 in the first period, the Komets didn’t get a shot on goal in the second until Josph Widmar’s 25-footer at 9:28, at which point Quad City had already regained the lead thanks to Jamie Tardif’s slap shot from the right circle during a power play.
The Komets continued to pepper Motte with shots : it was a 33-11 advantage in shots by the time Jason Binkley sent a 50-foot rocketing shot at him 10:04 into the third period : but the Mallards maintained their one-goal lead.
Tyanulin broke through to tie it by sending a 9-foot shot just over Motte’s outstretched left leg at 12:13.
Schaafsma made it 5-3 at 19:04.
Notes: Motte is the 13th goaltender in ECHL history to get credit for a goal. The most recent had been Alex Nedeljkovic, who fired the puck into an empty net for Florida on Dec. 30. Prior to that, Cincinnati’s Brian Foster got credit for a goal that was very similar to the one assessed to Motte. ... Shawn Szydlowski got an assist to extend his point-scoring streak to eight games, during which he’s got five goals and 13 points. ... There was a second-period fight between Fort Wayne’s Bobby Shea (5-foot-11) and Quad City’s Garrett Klotz (6-6). ... The referee was Andrew Wilk. ... Quad City has former Fort Wayne players Francis, Klotz and Kyle Follmer.