Komets begin road trip with loss in Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH- The Cincinnati Cyclones (23-19-3-2) earned a 6-5 win over the Ft. Wayne Komets on Friday night. Forward Nick Huard tallied a pair of goals, while forwards Mike Hammond, Jack Downing, and Tommy Mele, along with defenseman Brett Wysopal added lone markers for the Cyclones.

The Cyclones drew first blood early in this one when forward Christiaan Minella threw a shot that banked off of the end boards right to Hammond on the goal line, and he walked in and fired a wrister past Komets netminder Pat Nagle, putting the Cyclones up, 1-0, 1:33 into the opening frame.

After the Komets tied the game, 1-1, on a goal from Jamie Schaafsma, the Cyclones regained the lead midway through the frame when a shot from forward Seth Ambroz was tipped into the net by Downing, putting Cincinnati back up, 2-1.

That lead became 3-1 a few minutes later while on the power play, when Downing sent a pass to Noonan in the high slot, and he wristed a shot past Nagle, for his fifth goal of the season. Forward Zach Budish also recorded an assist on the goal, marking his 100th point of his pro hockey career.

The Komets managed to cut their deficit back to a goal with 2.8 seconds left in the first, when forward Trevor Cheek scored on the power play, cutting Cincinnati’s lead to 3-2 after 20 minutes.

The Cyclones’ power play struck once more early in the second, when a shot from Downing deflected off of the end boards and came to the side of the net, and Huard was there to jam in the rebound, extending Cincinnati’s lead to 4-2, 2:24 into the second.

Ft. Wayne answered back a few minutes later when forward Kyle Thomas scored to cut Cincinnati’s lead to 4-3, and then forward Alex Belzile found the back of the net midway through the second to tie the game, 4-4.

With under a minute left in the frame, the Cyclones took back the lead when Mele blew by a defender coming over the blue line, skated in on Nagle, and tucked a wrister under the crossbar and into the net, giving the Cyclones a 5-4 edge after two periods.

The Komets continued to hang around in the third, and managed to tie the game once more midway through the frame, when a shot from defenseman Drew Daniels found it’s way into the net, pulling the Komets back even with Cincinnati, 5-5.

Cincinnati was not deterred, and for the third time in the game the Cyclones’ power play came up with a big goal, when a point shot from Wysopal was tipped by Huard past Nagle, giving the Cyclones the lead back, 6-5.

That is all the offense the Cyclones needed, as the Komets were not able to mount another comeback, and Cincinnati held on for the 6-5 win.

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