Komets Rain on Wheeling's Parade in Army's Debut
FORT WAYNE, IN- The Wheeling Nailers were hoping to deliver a win for Derek Army in his head coaching debut on Friday night at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, but unfortunately, that will have to wait a day. The Fort Wayne Komets spoiled the fun, getting a goal and two assists from Justin Vaive, as well as a goal and an assist from Alan Lyszczarczyk in his return to the team for a 5-2 victory. Both of Wheeling's goals came from blueliners - Jesse Lees, then Matt Foley with the first of his career.
The first period saw one puck find the back of the net, and that was by the host Komets at the 8:28 mark. Stephen Harper centered the puck out of the trapezoid to Jackson Leef in the slot. Leef rang a low shot off of the right post and in. The stanza finished up with some fireworks, as Nick Rivera dropped the gloves for the first time in his pro career, tangling with Nick Boka.
Wheeling knotted the score in the middle frame, before Fort Wayne responded with two goals in less than a minute. At the 11:51 mark, Jesse Lees let a wrist shot go from the top of the right circle, as he roofed it into the top-right corner of the net. Adam Smith and Jackson Keane collected the assists, with Keane's being the first point of his pro career. The Komets regained the lead 33 seconds later, while playing on the man advantage. Justin Vaive tipped Alan Lyszczarczyk's shot on goal, which created a rebound snipe by Shawn Szydlowski. 57 seconds after that, Oliver Cooper redirected in Matt Murphy's shot from the left point to put the home squad ahead by two.
Fort Wayne added to its lead with two goals in the early stages of the third. Vaive tucked in the rebound of Harper's shot from the slot, then Lyszczarczyk tallied in his return to the Komets. The Nailers put one more goal of their own on the board, and it came from Matt Foley, who stole a pass in center ice and rumbled in to shelf the first marker of his pro career. The gloves flew again in the closing minutes, as the Komets completed their 5-2 home win.
Robbie Beydoun picked up his second win in as many starts for Fort Wayne, as he made 16 saves on 18 shots. Shane Starrett had a busy evening in the defeat for Wheeling, as he came away with 36 stops on the 41 shots he faced.
The Nailers and Komets will meet in Fort Wayne again on Saturday at 7:30, before the two sides travel to Wheeling for a 4:10 game on Sunday afternoon. A limited number of tickets are available for Wheeling Nailers home games, and season memberships and flex packs are also available. To purchase yours or to get more information, visit wheelingnailers.com or call (304) 234-GOAL. The Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley.