FORT WAYNE, IN (May 21) – Wichita began a three-game set on Friday night in Fort Wayne, falling 2-1 to the Komets at Memorial Coliseum.
Spencer Dorowicz scored the lone goal for the Thunder while Evan Buitenhuis made 31 saves in the losing effort.
Tempers flared even before the game got started as the two teams met near the penalty boxes. Players from both teams were jawing at each other and then were sent to the locker rooms.
The Komets controlled the play early and had a 15-4 shot advantage in the first. Both teams had power play chances, but were unsuccessful in the opening frame.
Dorowicz put the Thunder on the board at 12:19 of the second. Brayden Watts created a turnover on the left boards near the Komets line, fed it to Stephen Johnson down the wall. He gave a pass to the slot and Dorowicz beat Dylan Ferguson to make it 1-0.
In the third, Fort Wayne tied it at 2:25 when Randy Gazzola stepped around two players and beat Buitenhuis from the slot for his eighth of the season.
Wichita thought they had retaken the lead minutes later when Stefan Fournier tried to jam home a rebound. The play was blown dead as Ferguson fell into the right post and knocked it off its pegs.
Marco Roy gave the Komets their first lead of the night at 14:46 when he caught a pass in the slot and beat Buitenhuis, who was screened by Anthony Nellis.
Buitenhuis was lifted for the extra attacker, but Wichita was unable to find the equalizer and Fort Wayne held on for the 2-1 win.
Dorowicz collected his 10th of the year and has points in five of his last six outings. Stephen Johnson and Brayden Watts added helpers.
Wichita resumes its three-game series against the Komets tomorrow night starting at 6:30 p.m. CST.
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