CINCINNATI (WANE) – In what many Komets were calling “the most important game of the season” Fort Wayne topped Cincinnati 5-3 on Tuesday night to increase its lead in the Midwest Division over the Cyclones to seven points with five games remaining.
With the win the Komets now have 84 points to Cincinnati’s 77.
The Komets got on the board early, with Jamie Schaafsma’s 22nd goal of the season just 3:04 into the first period staking Fort Wayne to a 1-0 lead.
Cincinnati would respond as goals by Christiaan Minella and Jack Downing (shorthanded) would make it a 2-1 Cyclones lead after the first 20 minutes.
Schaafsma would net his 23rd goal of the season at 3:10 in the second period to knot the game at two apiece, then Garrett Meurs’ 16th goal of the season at 9:16 would give the Komets a 3-2 lead.
Nick Huard’s power play goal at 14:32 in the second period would tie the game at three heading into the final frame.
In the third period Meurs would find the net at 11:30 to give the Komets a 4-3. Shawn Szydlowski would put the icing on the cake with an empty net goal – his 22nd tally of the season – to set the final at 5-3.
The Komets were out-shot by the Cyclones 26-15. Pat Nagle made 23 saves in goal for the Komets.
Next up for the Komets is a home game on Saturday against the Indy Fuel. The puck is set to drop at 7:30 p.m. at War Memorial Coliseum.
With Tuesday’s win the Komets also clinched a spot in the playoffs for the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Fort Wayne win, coupled with a Tulsa loss to Colorado Tuesday, clinches a spot in the ECHL playoffs for Fort Wayne’s third run for the Kelly Cup Championship.