Prior to Wednesday
night, the Fort Wayne Komets had never beaten the Wheeling Nailers.
Unfortunately, that streak came to an end, thanks to a pair of goals in
the third period. Shawn Szydlowski broke a 1-1 tie at the 5:27 mark, and Kaleigh Schrock added an insurance marker, lifting Fort Wayne to a 3-1 win at WesBanco Arena.
The Komets opened the scoring at the 12:07 mark of the first period. Mike Embach dropped a pass off for Simon Danis-Pepin, who skated into the right circle, before letting a wrist shot go. The puck flew into the top-right corner of the cage, giving the visitors a 1-0 advantage.
With 7:19 remaining in the second period, the Nailers evened the score. Mike Ratchuk worked his way to the bottom of the left circle, before centering a pass to Jack MacLellan in the slot. MacLellan slammed a one-timer along the ice and into the net for his ninth goal of the season. 4-on-4 hockey has produced incredible success for Wheeling this season, as that was its sixth tally in that scenario, compared to just one for the opposition.
Although the score after the middle frame was identical to Sunday, the end result went the opposite way. The Komets regained the lead at the 5:27 mark, as they crashed the Wheeling net. Shawn Szydlowski dragged the puck in from the right side, and ultimately willed it through Mike Condon. Then, with 5:40 to go, the Nailers ran into an unfortunate break, as a center ice collision led to a 2-on-1 rush for Fort Wayne. Kaleigh Schrock capitalized on the opportunity, burying a shot from the left side for the 3-1 final score.
Ben Meisner picked up the win for the Komets, making 21 saves on 22 shots. Mike Condon suffered the loss for Wheeling, despite turning aside 26 of the 29 shots he faced.
The Nailers will play two games on home ice over the weekend, starting with a 7:00 p.m. face-off against the Kalamazoo Wings on Friday night.