FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The Florida Everblades fell behind early in the second period and could not recover, falling 4-2 Saturday to the Fort Wayne Komets at Memorial Coliseum.
Tied 1-1 through the first, the Blades saw Fort Wayne take the lead just 78 seconds into the second as Komet defenseman Jordon Southorn sailed a low point shot past the blocker of Florida goalie Kristers Gudlevskis to boost the home side to a 2-1 lead.
It was the first second-period goal the Blades had allowed since a 5-4 loss to the Gwinnett Gladiators on November 14.
Southorn extended the lead to 3-1 for Fort Wayne with 10:50 left in regulation, again beating Gudlevskis with a low shot for the point that the Latvian netminder couldn't reach with his glove as he fell backwards.
Florida attempted to battle back late, as Mike Merrifield rang home a Kyle Bonis rebound amid a net-front scramble on the power play, pulling it back to a one-goal game at 3-2 with 3:49 to go in the game.
Fort Wayne would dial up a response, however, with 1:15 remaining in the game, converting a defensive zone turnover by the Everblades into the game's 4-2 final margin.
In the first, the two sides traded goals as Kyle Bonis' 10th of the season was answered 59 seconds later by defenseman Joe Hartman, sending the game to a 1-1 deadlock after one.
Gudlevskis made 24 saves but took his fourth loss of the season; Komets keeper Cody Reichard picked up his first victory of the season on 39 stops.
The Blades ow return home to open a two-game set with the Colorado Eagles Friday at Germain Arena with a 7:30 p.m. dustup.