Analyzing Komets’ loss to Wings

January 17, 2019

Komets forward Mason Baptista probably had the best comment after the Komets lost 10-8 to the Kalamazoo Wings Wednesday night at Memorial Coliseum.

“It’s about what you learn from this situation, that’s the biggest thing you can do,” Baptista said. “You can either put your head down and piss and moan because things didn’t go your way, (be mad because) the ref didn’t make this or that call. Or, you can treat it like a slap in the face, wake up and go out and do better.”

The Komets scored on 1 of 3 power plays with three short-handed goals. The Wings were 4 of 9 on the power play with a short-handed goal.

But Fort Wayne coach Gary Graham pointed something out that’s very true: his players need to do a better job of battling through the officiating, whether it’s bad or not. (Tonight, it was all-star Chris Pontes calling the game, and he awarded a lot of calls early to the Wings.)

“We haven’t done very well in games like these,” Graham said. “If you look at these types of games, we usually lose them because we weren’t getting any type of calls. The refereeing was wildly inconsistent with everything they called early. What happened later in the game : the tripping on (Jamie) Schaafsma doesn’t get called, the same trip that (Ryan Siiro) has on (Colin) Jacobs. The guys get frustrated. The guys are playing through a lot of stickwork. ... and we’ve got to be mentally tougher in these situations.”

In other words, the Komets need to worry about what they can control and officiating isn’t one of those things.

-- Kalamazoo’s Reid Gardiner continued his torrid pace with a hat trick, extending his scoring streak to 17 games, the longest in the ECHL this season, during which he’s totaled 31 points.

-- This wasn’t the most goals allowed by a Komets team. That was 14 by Cincinnati of the International Hockey League on Nov. 27, 1955, in a 14-1 loss. As for the most combined goals in a Komets game, well, I don’t know on that one.

-- When was the last time you saw a team score three short-handed goals and lose?

-- Here’s who the Komets were missing coming in to the game: Leading scorer and all-star Justin Hodgman missed a third straight game with a hand injury; reigning league MVP Shawn Szydlowski was ill; Taylor Crunk served the third of his four-game suspension for punching Indy’s Radovan Bondra; Phelix Martineau remained with Laval of the higher-level American Hockey League; Trey Phillips was away because of an illness in the family; and Jordan Sims had a hip injury. If you’re wondering about Hodgman, the Komets are hopeful he could play Sunday at Toledo, Ohio.

-- It gets worse on the injury front, though. After the game, I found out that Jake Kamrass, Jason Binkley and Anthony Petruzzelli were all playing through significant injuries.

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