FORT WAYNE, Ind. – A pair of quick third period lamplighters proved to be the difference as the Fort Wayne Komets (39-14-2-4) beat the Cincinnati Cyclones (27-26-1-5) by a 3-2 final score in front of 6,188 at Memorial Coliseum on Sunday night.
The Cyclones power play continued their hot streak to open the scoring as Jack Downing caught a remarkable cross-ice pass from David Pacan and sniped home his fourth goal in two games to make it 1-0 at 14:58. The lamplighter was Cincinnati’s third man-advantage goal in their last five opportunities. At the other end of the ice, Rob Madore (L, 29 saves, 12-15-1-4) was masterful by turning aside all 11 shots he faced in the frame to keep his team ahead by one through 20 minutes.
Fort Wayne found the equalizer at the 6:39 mark of the middle period as Mike Embach found Shawn Szydlowski in the left circle, who proceeded to beat Madore through a partial screen to make it a 1-1 game. Meanwhile, rookie goaltender Roman Will (W, 21 saves, 11-6-1-3) was only forced to make four saves in the second stanza as the teams headed to the second intermission all square.
The final period turned out to be a back-and-forth affair early on. The Cyclones temporarily pulled back out in front when Steven Hodges cashed in with a power play goal at the 3:10 mark, beating Will between legs to give his team a 2-1 cushion. Unfortunately, the Komets rallied back with a pair of quick strikes to regain the lead; at 5:50, Matthew Pistilli tipped home Cody Sol’s shot from the outside to knot things at two. Moments later, at the 8:00 mark, defenseman William Lacasse sent a blast from the right point past a well-screened Madore to pick up the go-ahead and eventual game-winning strike – making it 3-2 Fort Wayne. With an extra skater in the final minute, Cincinnati nearly found the net on a couple of occasions, but came up empty as the home team took the one goal triumph.