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K’s lose to Fuel in OT

March 24, 2019

Logan Nelson got the rebound of his own shot, spun in the corner and sent a pass to Josh Shalla, whose shot from 15 feet out was the difference in the Indy Fuel’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Komets in front of 6,423 fans at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis tonight.

Despite getting a point in the standings, the Komets (31-23-10) are now tied with Kalamazoo for third place in the Central Division, though Fort Wayne has played one fewer game.

The Komets are eight points back of second-place Toledo, which they play Sunday at Toledo, Ohio, though the Walleye was idle tonight.

All-star forward Justin Hodgman, who had missed the Komets’ 3-2 loss Friday to the Cincinnati Cyclones because of a foot injury, was back in the lineup today. But J.C. Campagna, who was tied for the ECHL’s goal-scoring lead with 34, did not play and is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

The Komets started rookie goaltender Alex Dubeau, one day after they signed him, and he stopped 35 of 38 shots, including a breakaway by Matt Rupert seconds before Indy scored the winning goal.

Hodgman’s centering pass was redirected into the Indy net by Kyle Hope for a 1-0 lead 11:02 into the first period. The Fuel answered at 14:34, when Radovan Bondra scored on a one-timer after Ryan Rupert set him up with a pass from behind the net after winning a race for the puck.

The Komets regained their lead during a power play, as Sean Flanagan’s shot from the blue line knuckled its way through a crowd to make it 2-1 at 2:53 of the second period. But the Fuel answered again when Mathew Thompson’s no-look pass from the corner set up Craig Puffer alone in front for a goal at 11:06.

Matt Tomkins stopped 21 of 23 shots for the Fuel (31-30-4).

Notes: The Komets’ Shawn Szydlowski received no punishment from the ECHL for his part in a fracas after the final buzzer Friday. Five players got misconducts for continuing altercations : Fort Wayne’s Szydlowski and Anthony Petruzzell, plus Cincinnati’s Justin Vaive, Eric Knodel and Kurt Gosselin : but Szydlowski was probably in the most danger of discipline because he broke free of officials to get in the scrum.

jcohn@jg.net

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