DIABY LIFTS CYCLONES TO SERIES LEAD
Cincinnati Victorious After Second Straight Double Overtime Game
Cincinnati, OH- The Cincinnati Cyclones earned a 5-4 double overtime victory over the Ft. Wayne Komets on Saturday night, in Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. With the win, Cincinnati is now ahead, 3 games to 2, in their best-of-seven series. Defenseman Andrew Blazek tallied a pair of goals while defenseman Steve Weinstein and forward Branden Gracel added lone tallies in regulation, and defenseman Jonathan Diaby netted the game winner in double overtime for the Cyclones, who are just one win away from advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals.
After the Komets took a 1-0 lead 39 seconds into the first on a goal from Garrett Thompson, the Cyclones got the offense going, as Gracel came down the left wing over the blue line on a 2-on-1 rush and threw a backhander past Ft. Wayne goaltender Pat Nagle to tie the game, 1-1, 3:42 into the opening frame.
Roughly nine minutes later the Cyclones took the lead when Weinstein took a shot from the top of the right wing circle that found its way through heavy traffic and into the net, giving Cincinnati a 2-1 edge.
The Cyclones took their lead into the locker room after the first, and in the second the Komets struck once again within the first minute, when forward Shawn Szydlowski found the back of the net to tie the game, 2-2.
Cincinnati regained their lead 8:08 into the frame when a left point shot from Blazek found its way through traffic and past Nagle to give the Cyclones a 3-2 edge.
The lead was short-lived, as 2:06 later Ft. Wayne’s power play got into the mix with a goal from forward Brett Perlini, tying the game, 3-3, through two periods.
The back-and-forth nature of the contest continued in the third, and 7:40 in Cincinnati regained the lead when Blazek took possession of the puck at the left circle and fired a slapshot past Nagle to put Cincinnati back up, 4-3.
With less than three minutes left, the Komet power play struck again when Thompson lit the lamp for the second time in the game, tying it up, 4-4.
For the second straight night the sides headed to overtime, and for the second straight night the score remained tied through 80 minutes. Then, just shy of the halfway mark of the second overtime, a shot from defenseman Riley Weselowski ricocheted off of traffic and came to Diaby, and he hammered a slapshot from the top of the right circle past Nagle to send the Cyclones to a 5-4 double overtime victory.
The Cyclones were outshot, 45-40 on the night, with goaltender Brad Thiessen stopping 41 to collect the win. Cincinnati looks to wrap up the best-of-seven series on Monday night in Game 6 in Ft. Wayne. Faceoff is slated for 7:30pm ET.
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