INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The Missouri Mavericks were saddled with their second home loss in a row on Saturday night as the Fort Wayne Komets skated away with a 6-1 win.
A series of fluky bounces led to Fort Wayne netting the first goal of the night. A shot by Mike Cazzola was deflected high over the net of Mavericks starter Ville Husso. The puck bounced off the back glass towards the slot where Aaron Berisha was defending against the Komets attack and then off of Berisha into the net. It was Cazzola’s third of the season and came 6:02 into the game. Gabriel Desjardins picked up his third goal in two nights at 10:55 when he finished off a passing combo from David Friedmann and Mike Embach, and Shawn Szydlowski followed 19 seconds later to build the Komets’ lead to three. The Mavericks produced a couple of scoring opportunities on a late power play but Fort Wayne goalie Eric Hartzell denied each bid. Embach cashed in on a shorthanded breakaway in the final minute of the frame to lift the Komets to a four-goal advantage.
The second period got off to a chippy start as Tyler Elbrecht and Dane Fox mixed things up with Szydlowski and Dan Milan on separate occasions. The dust-ups appeared to inject some energy into the Mavericks and they doubled up the Komets in shots over the first half of the period. Missouri had out-shot Fort Wayne 9-2 in the second as it approached 13 minutes old, but Friedmann finished off the rebound of a Desjardins wrist shot for a 5-0 Komets lead at 12:35. That goal chased Husso from the net and brought Eamon McAdam on in relief. The Mavericks came on strong with Desjardins off for holding over the final two minutes, but Hartzell made a handful of strong saves to keep Fort Wayne ahead by five headed to the third.
The Komets came into the weekend carrying the league’s best power play and, until the third period tonight, the Mavericks kept them off the board at 0-for-3. But the Komets cashed in their fourth chance with Cody Sol wristing a shot from the high slot past McAdam for his first goal of the season. Midway through the period Fox and Milan got back together for a tilt at center ice and traded furious haymakers. Shawn Pauly broke up Hartzell’s shutout bid with his first pro goal with eight minutes left to play, but that was the extent of the Mavericks’ offense.