FT. WAYNE, Ind. – The Evansville IceMen successfully swept arch rival Komets with the help of a three-goal second period at Memorial Coliseum in Ft. Wayne on Saturday night.
The second contest in as many nights between the North Division participants featured more of the same for Evansville. IceMen Right Winger Kevin Baker lead the charge once again, duplicating his previous performance against the Komets with another two-goal game.
Each of Baker’s two goals proved to be vital as the right winger scored the initial IceMen goal of the game, on the power play, 14:03 into the first period, as well as the game-winning goal 13:18 into the second period. Baker owns three game-winning tallies for Evansville this season. Assisting on Baker’s goals were IceMen Defenseman Philippe Plante and Center Todd Robinson (2).
In the two-game series, Baker accumulated six points (4G,2A). The IceMen veteran right winger was named the game’s first star in both games against the Komets this weekend. Baker now has an even 20 goals on the season.
IceMen Goaltender Paul Dainton earned the victory in his sixth consecutive appearance in-net for Evansville. Dainton saved 28-of-30 shots faced on Saturday, earning a .933 save percentage.
In his last three games, Dainton has saved 105-of-110 shots and owns a .955 save percentage in those contests. The IceMen net-minder improves his record to (5-9-2) on the season.
Another reoccurrence on Saturday was the multi-assist output set forth by Evansville’s Robinson. The IceMen team captain added two more assists to his already league leading number. Robinson now has 51 assists on the season.
Robinson has either scored a goal or assisted on 36.4% of Evansville’s 151 goals this season. In his last 18 games, Robinson has accumulated 31 points (3G,28A).
Ft. Wayne Center Eric Giosa, third star of the game, opened the scoring with his 11th goal of the season 11:09 into the first period. Assists on Giosa’s initial marker were from Ft. Wayne Center Brett Smith and Defenseman Ryan Hegarty.
IceMen Defenseman Donnie Harris gave Evansville its first lead of the game 9:56 into the second period. Harris’ first goal of the season and the first of three IceMen lamp-lighters in the middle frame was unassisted.
Ft. Wayne right winger and leading scorer Brandon Marino scored the second and final triumph for the Komets 16:03 into the second period. Giosa earned an assist, giving him a multi-point game. Giosa finished with one goal, one assist, and was the lone +2 rated player on the Komets’ roster.
It took just 2:47 for Evansville to respond to Marino’s 17th goal of the season. IceMen Forward Dylan Clarke executed his 15th goal of the campaign at the 18:53 mark of the second period, capping an offensive-heavy second period.
IceMen Left Winger Oliver Gabriel earned his first point of the season after accomplishing the initial assist on the Clarke goal. Gabriel returned to the IceMen lineup on Friday after missing 49 games due to a lower leg injury.
The losing goaltender was Ft. Wayne’s Charlie Effinger, who saved 20-of-24 shots faced, earning a .833 save percentage. Effinger’s record declines to (9-11-1) on the season.
The IceMen power play saw seven opportunities on Saturday, connecting for a goal on one of those appearances. The Komets were unsuccessful in each of their four man advantages against the IceMen. Evansville’s penalty killing unit has been a juggernaut of late, successfully killing off 22 straight opponent power plays.
The IceMen improve to (19-30-5)43 on the campaign. Ft. Wayne, losers of four straight, fall to (26-25-2)54 on the season.
The two-game weekend series between these two Indiana teams has drawn quite a crown as the two-game total has eclipsed 17,500 people. Saturday night’s matchup in Ft. Wayne was announced a sellout with an official attendance of 10,420.
The IceMen travel to Florida to face the Orlando Solar Bears for the second time this season on Wednesday. The game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and can be heard on ‘Magic 98.5’ FM and 1400 AM WEOA, as well as the rest of the IceMen Radio Network.