K’s working to screen other goalie
Defenseman Ryan Lowney sent a blistering shot from just inside the blue line that it caromed off the stick of forward Jake Kamrass and into the net. Later Saturday, Lowney unleashed another hard shot that ricocheted off forward Mason Baptista’s body and went into the goal.
Lowney skated off the ice with two assists, proof that if the forwards attack the net, while Fort Wayne’s defensemen shoot, good things can happen, though the game resulted in a 3-2 loss to the Toledo Walleye in an overtime shootout.
“Especially against some teams, like Toledo, we want to get point shots on the net and get traffic,” Lowney said. “We had two goals on tips in front by our forwards, Baps and Kamrass, good tips to get them through their goalie.”
The Komets have been making an effort to make things more difficult on the eyesight of opposing netminders. But, as with most things this season with the Komets (13-11-2), it has been an up-and-down endeavor.
“Consistently, we’re trying to play a full 60 minutes,” Lowney said. “We’ve been playing some good hockey, we just need to make a few tweaks to get us to a good, all-around solid game.”
On Sunday, the Komets lost 6-3 to the Wheeling Nailers in Wheeling, West Virginia, in a game that saw them come back from an early 3-1 deficit, dominate the second period with the only goal : it came from Baptista : but sag in the late minutes. None of Fort Wayne’s goals at Wheeling came off redirections, as they had Saturday, though Fort Wayne’s lineup was decimated by injuries and Phelix Martineau and Marco Roy being in the American Hockey League.
Lowney now leads Fort Wayne defensemen in scoring with 14 points : all assists : in 25 games heading into Friday’s 8 p.m. game at Memorial Coliseum against the Kalamazoo Wings. Defenseman Jason Binkley has five goals and 12 points in 24 games.
“We’ve been getting some good traffic. We’ve been doing a better job of getting to the net,” said coach Gary Graham, whose team is on an 8-3-1 run.
That traffic in front of the net : and keeping traffic from their own goalies : will be important for the Komets as they try to break the tie with Kalamazoo for third place in Central Division at 27 points. Indy and Wheeling are one point back.
“We’re seeing it in the video and in the way that we’re playing: When we just do the same things over and over, there’s no surprises in the results afterward,” goalie Zach Fucale said. “When you play the same way and get the same results, you just keep doing it. If we keep doing things (the right way), we’re going to have success.”
Notes: The 11th year of Komets Kare Package will be Friday and Saturday. Komets fans are asked to bring canned donations to be presented to the Veterans Affairs Northern Indiana Health Care System food pantry. Last year, fans donated about $4,000 in goods. Donations can be dropped off in the upper lobby. Requested items include pasta, boxed macaroni and cheese, Hamburger Helper, boxed rice and potato varieties, soup, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, beans, canned pasta, canned meats, snack items, canned fruits and vegetables, snack bars, cereal/oatmeal, pudding or gelatin, coffee, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap and deodorant. Items such as gloves, hats, puzzle books, personal toiletries, hygiene products, blankets and cleaning supplies will also be accepted.