Cyclones Close Season with 3-2 Shootout Defeat in Fort Wayne
FORT WAYNE, Indiana – The Cincinnati Cyclones (31-30-2-9) had their playoff hopes cut just short as they fell to the Fort Wayne Komets (48-18-2-4) in a shootout by a 3-2 final score in front of 8,790 at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night. Cincinnati finished tied for fifth in the North Division, only one point behind the Wheeling Nailers.
The Komets didn't take long to find the net in the opening stanza as Matt Lowry fired a shot over Rob Madore (SOL, 31 saves, 16-19-2-8) from inside the left circle at 3:40 to grab the 1-0 lead. Then, during a Cincinnati power play late in the period, Eric Faille caught a long pass at center ice, raced in on a partial breakaway, and tucked home the insurance marker at 18:07 to extend his team's lead to a pair at the first intermission.
Despite a pair of power plays in the middle frame and some high quality chances, the Cyclones still failed to solve Fort Wayne goaltender Roman Will (W, 34 saves, 17-8-1-3) by the end of 40 minutes. The Komets also collected some good looks at the net but couldn't add to their edge as they carried the two-goal cushion into the third period.
Cincinnati started their comeback trail early and swiftly in the third; just 3:13 in, MacKenzie Weegar beautifully played the puck to the middle for Branden Gracel who deposited his 15th goal of the year to cut the deficit to 2-1. Then, just 2:03 later, David MacDonald ripped a point blast past Will to knot things at two. Unfortunately, around the very same time, the Wheeling Nailers sealed a 5-3 win over the Elmira Jackals to officially clinch the final North Division playoff spot - ending the Cyclones hope for a last-minute berth. But that didn't make the finish to the regular season finale any less interesting. Neither side could break the 2-2 deadlock and the game was forced into overtime for the second meeting in a row.
Both clubs had ample opportunity to pot the game winner, but the goalies remained perfect and a shootout proved necessary again. The Komets struck in each of the first three rounds, getting lamplighters from Paul Crowder, Shawn Szydlowski, and Brett Perlini while the Cyclones came up with a pair from Jack Downing and Josh Shalla. Unfortunately, though, Will wouldn't surrender another goal and Fort Wayne sealed a 3-2 victory.
The Cyclones will return to U.S. Bank Arena in mid-October when they open the 2015-16 season! Between now and then, be on the lookout for several offseason events like Meijer Concrete Clones! 2015-16 Season Ticket Packages are available NOW! Call 513.421.PUCK to reserve your seats. Fans can also get the latest team updates throughout the offseason on Facebook, Twitter (@CincyCyclones), and Instagram!
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