Fort Wayne 4, Rapid City 1

Fort Wayne goaltender Kevin Reiter makes a save Friday night at the War Memorial Colliseum. Reiter saved 42-of-43 shots leading the Komets' to a 4-1 win over the Rush in Game 4. (Photo Seth A. McConnell/IDS)

(Fort Wayne, Ind.)–The momentum has shifted.

The Rapid City Rush had dominated the best-of-five series the first two games at home, and for two periods in Game 3. It’s been all Fort Wayne since.

Before Kevin Harvey netted the lone Rapid City goal in the third period, the Komets’ had scored eight unanswered goals.

“We haven’t won a first period all series, and had been outscored 6-1. Our goal tonight was to win it (first period), and I thought we dominated the game for two periods,” said Fort Wayne head coach Al Sims. “I think more than anything else tonight, the most important thing we took away was momentum.”

With a rowdy 8,687 fans at the War Memorial Coliseum behind them, the Komets’ gave the base everything they wanted to see. It started with their goaltender, Kevin Reiter. The Komets’ netminder stoned 42-of-43 shots Friday night.

“That was probably the best game I have seen Kevin Reiter play as a Komet,” said Sims. “Hopefully he has one more left in him.”

He will need one more big performance as all four games in the series have been won by the home team. The decisive fifth game will be played in Rapid City on Sunday.

“We just looked like we were a flat hockey club,” said Rush head coach Joe Ferras. “The big thing in playoff hockey is that we have to have a short-term memory. We knew coming into the series that we were two very evenly matched hockey clubs. We need to get back to Rush hockey.”

Reiter didn’t see much action in the first two periods as the Rush struggled to find cohesiveness out of the back. The result was the Komets’ dominating possession of the puck for two periods. The Rush finally found a rhythm in the final 20 minutes of the game. They fired 23 shots on goal, Reiter saved 22 of them, including several standing on his head stops.

“We came out flat and took the first three penalties of the game,” said Ferras. “It wears guys down, and when we got powerplays we didn’t respond. They came out hard and jumped all over us. Give them credit.”

After the Rush took their third penalty of the opening period, Fort Wayne winger P.C. Drouin finally made them pay. He fired a hard one-timer from just above the circle into the top corner. It was his third goal of the series and seventh point.


(Photos Seth A. McConnell/IDS)

Komets’ tally three goals within ten minutes

Rapid City trailed only 1-0 after one frame when the wheels fell off in the second. It started with a bit of bad luck when Michael Ratchuk’s shot from the top of the circle deflected off a Rush defender and into the top of the net at the 6:15 mark.

Fort Wayne’s third tally of the night came at 12:04 into the second frame when Artem Podshendylov took the puck from deep in his own zone and skated all the way down the wing untouched. He finally slid a pass through a Rush defender legs to a waiting Colin Chaulk for an easy put away. It was Chaulk’s third goal of the series.

Mathew Curadeau, who scored the game-winner Wednesday night, put the game away for the Komets only three minutes later. A poor Rapid City pass out of the back gave Fort Wayne the puck at the blueline. Chaulk found a streaking Curadeau completely unmarked in the crease and with no pressure he flipped it into the top corner.

Tim Boron replaced Battochio at that point. Batman saved 19-of-23 shots.

Boron saved 7-of-7 shots in relief.

Rush come alive late, too late

In the third period, Rapid City finally started consistently connecting on passes out of the back and were able to get into the cycle on the offensive end. The result was 23 shots, more than they had in the first two periods combined.

“In the third period we played to our potential,” said Ferras. “We had a lot of shots, and created second and third chances. We have to be a cycling hockey club that battles for loose pucks. That’s when we’re a good club.”

Harvey powered in the only Rush goal with five minutes to play, putting back a rebound off of a Riley Weselowski shot from the point. However, right after the ensuing faceoff Harvey was given a game misconduct for an illegal check to the head. Colt King then went fisticuffs and quickly took care of Kaleigh Shrock. The Rush ended the game on a five-minute penalty kill.

With the series knotted at 2-2 in the best-of-five, the decisive game is on Sunday night at 6:05 p.m. MST at the Rushmore Plaza Ice Arena.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, good stuff on the Rush players off the ice here: http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20110422/BLOGS11/110429785

Also David Franke’s reaction to Ryan Menei’s return here: http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20110422/BLOGS11/110429794

And, Justin Cohn’s Game 4 analysis here: http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20110422/BLOGS11/110429788

GAME DETAILS
SCORING SHOTS
1 2 3
Rapid City 0 0 1 1
Fort Wayne 1 3 0 4
1 2 3
Rapid City 12 8 23 43
Fort Wayne 13 11 6 30

POWERPLAYS
Rapid City 1 for 6 : Fort Wayne 1 for 8

SCORING SUMMARY
Period 1
Fort WayneP.C. Drouin(powerplay) (Frankie DeAngelisColin Chaulk) 15:45
Period 2
Fort WayneMichael Ratchuk (Artem PodshendyalovMatt Krug) 6:15
Fort WayneColin Chaulk (Michael RatchukArtem Podshendyalov) 12:04
Fort WayneMathieu Curadeau (Colin ChaulkKaleigh Schrock) 15:59
Period 3
Rapid CityKevin Harvey(powerplay) (Riley WeselowskiDave Grimson) 14:59
Rapid City Fort Wayne
# NAME G A PTS +/- S PIM
2 Hartinger, Vladimir 0 0 0 -1 1 0
3 Flamminio, Gio 0 0 0 -1 1 0
6 Weselowski, Riley 0 1 1 -1 1 0
7 Harvey, Kevin 1 0 1 -1 1 15
8 Hodge, Brendon 0 0 0 0 1 0
10 Menei, Ryan 0 0 0 -1 1 0
16 Schultz, Jesse 0 0 0 -1 0 2
17 Wray, Scott 0 0 0 -1 7 4
19 LeBlanc, Derek 0 0 0 -1 3 4
20 Beaulieu, Josh 0 0 0 -1 1 2
21 Reeder, Konrad 0 0 0 -1 7 2
23 Reaney, Les 0 0 0 -1 2 0
27 Grimson, Dave 0 1 1 -1 5 0
28 Adams, Ryan 0 0 0 -2 6 2
30 Battochio, Danny 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 Boron, Tim 0 0 0 0 0 0
45 King, Colt 0 0 0 0 5 5
51 Smale, Andrew 0 0 0 0 1 2
# NAME G A PTS +/- S PIM
2 Dupuis, Guy 0 0 0 +1 3 0
4 Molle, Dustin 0 0 0 0 1 2
7 Krug, Matt 0 1 1 +2 1 0
14 DeAngelis, Frankie 0 1 1 0 3 0
22 Lapointe, Dan 0 0 0 0 1 0
23 Lardner, Tab 0 0 0 0 1 2
33 Boucher, Nick 0 0 0 0 0 0
35 Reiter, Kevin 0 0 0 0 0 0
39 Patrosso, Derek 0 0 0 +1 3 0
44 Thomas, Leo 0 0 0 +1 0 0
55 Podshendyalov, Artem 0 2 2 +2 2 2
71 Drouin, P.C. 1 0 1 0 7 2
72 Cescon, Craig 0 0 0 +1 1 0
79 Schrock, Kaleigh 0 1 1 +1 0 5
82 Ratchuk, Michael 1 1 2 +2 2 0
91 Chaulk, Colin 1 2 3 +2 1 4
94 Curadeau, Mathieu 1 0 1 +1 4 0
GOALIES
NAME DEC MIN SHOTS SAVES
30 Danny Battochio LOSS 35:59 23 19
31 Tim Boron 24:01 7 7
NAME DEC MIN SHOTS SAVES
35 Kevin Reiter WIN 60:00 43 42