CINCINNATI, Ohio – Former Cyclone Mike Embach scored twice as the Fort Wayne Komets (19-14-5-4) defeated the Cyclones (26-13-1-1) by a 6-2 final score in front of 6,995 at U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday’s Military Appreciation and Super Hero Night. After trailing by a pair early, the Komets mounted an impressive comeback in the finals two periods, scoring six unanswered goals to secure the win. NetminderAndrey Makarov (W, 26 saves, 12-7-1-1) stayed strong between the pipes, turning aside 26 of the 28 shots he faced in the tilt.
The home team imposed their will early and shot out to a quick lead when Barry Almeida made a clean pass to Anthony Luciani, who crashed the net and beat Makarov for his team-leading 18th tally of the season at 2:12. Minutes later, Dan Evesbanged one off the post that appeared to have crossed the line, but it was quickly waived off by the officials. However, the Cyclones found the back of the net again when Trevor Lewis dished the puck to a streaking Josh Birkholz, who scored on the breakaway with four seconds remaining in the period. The Cyclones successfully killed two penalties and held the Komets to just four shots on goal before entering the first intermission with a two-goal advantage.
However, the Komets showed signs of life early in the second stanza when Sy Nutkevitch beat Joe Howe (L, 15 saves, 9-2-1-0) glove-side and recorded his second goal of the season at 2:51. After the goal, momentum quickly shifted in favor of the visitors, who knotted the score at two when Embach weaved through traffic and backhanded in his 14th tally of the season at 9:39. The Komets continued their offensive push and took their first lead of the night when Matt Carter, another former Cyclone, lit the lamp for the 12th time this season at 12:34. Despite outshooting the Komets 20-17 through two periods, the Cyclones entered the final frame, trailing their Hoosier State foes, 3-2.
Unfortunately for the home crowd, the offensive showing continued when the Komets scored two quick goals to start the third period. Just 39 seconds into the session,Jace Coyle found the back of the net and Embach recorded his second of the game at 2:47. This prompted a change in net for the Cyclones when Rob Madore replaced Howe, who entered the tilt hot off a career-high 40-save performance last night in Toledo. The switch, however, proved to be too little, too late and the Komets scored the final goal of the contest when Shawn Szydlowski converted on the power play at 14:08.
“It’s tough when you get off the bus and you come back after a good game last night,” said Assistant Coach Matt Macdonald of the team’s quick turnaround today. “But that shouldn’t affect us as much obviously as what it looked like out there, but that happens. I think the guys came out with a lot of intensity…It’s just we [have] to keep it for a full 60 minutes.”