EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE)
After the Evansville IceMen, presented by Coors Light and the Fort Wayne Komets battled to a tie at the end of regulation, a Fort Wayne breakaway in sudden-death overtime produced the winning goal. A crowd of 6,324 fans watched as Shawn Szydlowski's overtime strike gave the Komets a 2-1 win at the Ford Center. The IceMen (8-9-2-1, 19 points) picked up a point in the loss.
Big hits and physical play defined the first period. A fight erupted as Daniel Johnston dropped the gloves and traded punches with former IceMen defenseman, Matt Krug. Both goaltenders shut the door as the first period ended scoreless.
Early in the second period, the IceMen broke the tie. Patrick Kennedy left the puck for Brandon Wong who dished it back to Kennedy on a give-and-go. Kennedy fired it past Pat Nagle to give the IceMen a 1-0 lead. Kennedy's fifth goal of the season unleashed a barrage of teddy bears in the IceMen's annual teddy bear toss night.
Once the Teddy Bears were cleaned up, the Komets responded. Drew Daniels found Eric Faille on an outlet pass that gave Fort Wayne a breakaway. Faille scored all alone to knot the game up at one entering the second intermission.
Despite two 3rd period power plays, the IceMen could not break the tie. Several Evansville shots hit the cross bar and posts, but the IceMen and Komets remained knotted up after regulation ended.
During the four-on-four overtime, the Komets caught the IceMen in a line change to create a two-on-one breakaway. Faille found Szydlowski who clanked one off the post and into the net to give the Komets the win.
Chris Driedger made 29 saves in the losing effort for the IceMen, while Nagle turned away 19 pucks. Evansville has dropped three in a row.
With the victory, Fort Wayne hangs onto first place in the ECHL and the North Division with a league best 18-4-0-0 record. Evansville holds onto sixth place in the north.
The IceMen will continue their six-game home stand as they host the Elmira Jackals on Wednesday, Dec. 17th at the Ford Center. College and high school students can celebrate the start of holiday break with $13 goal zone tickets with their student IDs. Puck drop is set for 7:15 p.m as the IceMen and Jackals wrap up their season series.