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Komets lose in goaltender Fucale’s return

November 17, 2018

Zach Fucale was back in the Komets’ lineup Friday night. Despite making a terrific save early in the first period : he foiled Alex Wideman at the end of a 3-on-1 rush : Fucale gave up four goals on 28 shots in a 4-1 loss to the Cincinnati Cyclones at U.S. Bank Arena.

Justin Hodgman had an assist, giving him four goals and 19 points for the Komets. He has tallied at least one point in 11 of their 12 games this season.

Fucale, a Vegas Golden Knights’ prospect, who had just returned from a stint with Chicago of the American Hockey League, now stands at 1-4-0 for the Komets. Both his goals-against average and save percentage improved with this game, to 4.18 and .854 respectively, and he didn’t always have a lot of help in the defensive zone.

Myles Powell opened the scoring for Cincinnati on a redirection 7:43 into the first period. Eric Knodel made it 2-0 at 10:54 with a shot from 42 feet out that beat Fucale low. And Shaw Boomhower gave the Cyclones a 3-0 lead at 19:05, after Fucale failed to control a rebound.

The Komets were much stingier after that, though, and Fort Wayne’s Phelix Martineau took advantage of Hodgman’s pass from behind the net to send a shot off the crossbar, down the back of goaltender Jonas Johansson and into the net 17:57 into the second period.

But the Cyclones (9-3-2) ended the scoring with an Arvin Atwal goal just 53 seconds later.

Johansson stopped 30 of 31 shots in front of 2,677 fans.

The Komets (5-7-0) play at division-leading Toledo (11-1-1) at 7:15 p.m. today at the Huntington Center.

Notes: The Komets played without Shawn Szydlowski (illness) and Marco Roy (concussion). ... Kyle Hayton was the backup to Fucale, as Lukas Hafner was on bereavement leave. ... Drake Batherson, the son of former Komets player Norm Batherson, scored in his first NHL game for the Ottawa Senators.

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