FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Komets couldn’t overcome a disastrous first period as they fell 5-3 to the Allen American in the Western Conference Finals series opener.
Gary Steffes opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 5:27 in the first period, marking his fourth goal of the season for the American.
Following a Trevor Cheek tripping penalty at 8:56 the Americans needed just seven second to score on the ensuing powerplay, with Greger Hanson finding the nets to give Allen a 2-0 lead.
An Alex Belzile elbowing penalty gave the Americans a powerplay at 10:14 and this time they needed a full 42 seconds to put one past Komets goalie Pat Nagle as Casey Pierro-Zabotel found the twice to give Allen a 3-0 lead.
With 13 seconds remaining in the first frame the Komets got on the scoreboard. Troy Bourke’s shot was knocked down in front but Cheek would find the puck and score his fourth goal of the playoffs to make it a 3-1 contest.
After a scoreless second period Bourke found the net just 3:16 into the third, cutting Allen’s lead to 3-2.
The Americans responded with a tally from Nikita Jevpalovs – his first of the playoffs – to push their lead to 4-2.
At 13:28 in the period Bourke would light the lamp again, making it a 4-3 game. However, the Komets would get no closer, with Vincent Arseneau scoring an empty net goal to set the final at 5-3.
The Komets were out-shot in the first period 16-6 but tied Allen with 26 overall for the game.
Pat Nagle stopped 21-of-25 shots for the Komets while Riley Gill halted 23-of-26 for the Americans.
Game two is set for Sunday night at 6 p.m. at the Coliseum.
2016 ECHL KELLY CUP WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
FORT WAYNE KOMETS VS ALLEN AMERICANS
Game 2- Sunday, May 15……………. Allen at Fort Wayne, 6:00pm ET
Game 3- Thursday, May 19……………Fort Wayne at Allen, 8:05pm ET
Game 4- Saturday, May 21……………Fort Wayne at Allen, 8:05pm ET
Game 5- Sunday, May 22……………..Fort Wayne at Allen, 5:05pm ET*
Game 6- Tuesday, May 24…………….Allen at Fort Wayne, 7:30pm ET *
Game 7- Thursday, May 26……………Allen at Fort Wayne, 7:30pm ET*