MUSKEGON, Mich. -- The Komets have dropped back-to-back games in regulation for only the second time this season, after losing 5-4 to the Muskegon Fury at L.C. Walker Arena.
As goaltender Kevin Reiter said: "Anyone scores two short-handed goals and you know it's not going to go your way that night."
The Komets were up 3-1 late in the first period, before the Fury got its pair of short-handed goals in a span of 33 seconds. That was the end of Reiter's night -- he stopped 8 of 11 shots -- and that came after he was pulled with one save on three shots in Friday's 5-1 loss at Flint, Mich.
Let me compliment Reiter on his professionalism after a tough weekend -- he didn't decline an interview -- and he also said the right things. He said he didn't play well enough, that he felt badly for throwing backup Nick Boucher into the fire, that sometimes a goalie change is the spark a team needs, and that he'll be ready and better when the next game rolls around Wednesday at Bloomington, Ill.
He chose his words carefully when asked if he agreed with being pulled; but it was clear he would have preferred to stay in the game and battle tonight.
What did coach Al Sims say? "I didn't like the goals we were giving up, so I'm gonna make a change. That's my call."
Sims added, Boucher wasn't immune. The game-winning goal, scored from long range by Sheldon Wing, with Boucher way out of the net, was one Sims felt should have been stopped.
But let's not lay this all on the goalies. The Komets are supposedly the top-rated defensive team in the International Hockey League, or that's what the statistics read, yet they looked lost at times without David Hukalo and Mathieu Curadeau in the lineup. (Both should be back Wednesday.) And even though they claimed it was in the line of being aggressive, all the stick-handling in front of their own net should make any Fort Wayne fan very nervous.
So this should all be a lesson to the Komets that they have a long way to go. And I have to believe the Fury is the team they'd like least to see in the playoffs -- Fort Wayne is 1-3-1 at L.C. Walker Arena and just gets flummoxed by the Fury.
But when you think about it, aren't our standards high? Two losses and it seems like the world is caving in. Maybe not, but three in a row would be bad.
-- By Justin A. Cohn, The Journal Gazette