One night after losing their first home game of the season, the Fort Wayne Komets gave the Bloomington PrairieThunder their first home loss on Saturday night. Leo Thomas, Keith Rodger and Justin Chwedoruk scored and Tim Haun made 35 saves in a 3-1 Fort Wayne win.
``It's huge for us,'' Komets coach Al Sims said. ``This team was undefeated at home and they are a really quick and offensive team. To hold them to one goal ine tteir building is really a good job.''
The Komets broke a two-game losing streak and improved to 4-3 away from Memorial Coliseum by coming back after Bloomington took a 1-0 lead early in the second period. Chwedoruk set up Rodger's first goal of the season at 8:22, and then Thomas scored on a power play at 9:48. Fort Wayne protected the lead the rest of the way before Chwedoruk scored into an empty net with 55 seconds remaining.
With Haun making is sixth consecutive start, the Komets were out-shot 36-27. The goaltender got run over by one of his defensemen early in the third period but was able to stay in the game.
Fort Wayne held the International Hockey Leauge's best power-play team scoreless on four chances, while the Komets scored once in four tries. The Komets kept their composure with only a couple of short-handed situations during the first two periods.
``I think we did better,'' Sims siad. ``Our penalty killing was really good. This team was was almost 40 percent at home on the power play, and we knew had to be really good tonight.''
The Komets have allowed only two power-play goals in their opponents last 41 chances. They gave up 10 power-play goals in their first 39 chances in the opening five games of the season.
In one oddity of the game, Komets assistant coach and center Colin Chaulk returned to the lineup after missing Friday's game to attend his grandmother's funeral in Toronto. Chaulk recieved 17 minutes in penalties for a first-period fight with Bloomington's Ryan Finnerty, including a misconduct for not having his jersey tied down.
The Komets, 8-4-0 overall, continue their western road trip at Quad City at 5 p.m.. The Mallards are 1-2-1 at home this season. Then Fort Wayne plays three of its next four games at home.