Cincinnati’s Late Comeback Not Enough in Ft. Wayne
Ft. Wayne, IN-The Cincinnati Cyclones (12-12-4-0) fell to the Ft. Wayne Komets, 4-3, on Thursday night. Forwards Seth Ambroz, Shane Walsh, and Shawn O’Donnell tallied the goals for the Cyclones. Thursday’s game was a particularly chippy affair as well, with the two sides combining for 92 minutes in penalties.
The Komets struck early in the opening period, getting a pair of goals 35 seconds apart from forwards Gabriel Desjardins and Shawn Szydlowski to take a 2-0 lead, 5:54 into the opening frame. Cincinnati turned up the offensive pressure following those two goals, receiving multiple Grade A scoring chances, however Ft. Wayne goaltender Garrett Bartus shut the door, and preserved Ft. Wayne’s 2-0 lead through 20 minutes.
The Cyclones and Komets picked up the physicality late in the opening period as well, combining for three fights and 34 minutes in penalties in the last 12 seconds of the frame.
The Cyclones got on the board midway through the second period, when forward Rob De Fulviis sent a pass to Ambroz in the high slot and he rifled it past Bartus to cut Cincinnati’s deficit to 2-1, 9:13 into the middle frame.
Ft. Wayne wasted little time responding, as just 31 seconds later while on the power play, forward Kyle Thomas crashed the net for his 15th of the season to extend the Komets’ lead back to two goals, 3-1.
Cincinnati kept applying the offensive pressure, and with less than nine minutes to play in the second they pulled back to within a goal when a centering pass from the right half wall from forward Peter LeBlanc was tipped in by Walsh to cut Ft. Wayne’s lead to 3-2 after two periods.
The Cyclones finally overcame their two-goal deficit just before the halfway mark of the third, when a scrum behind the net resulted loose puck bouncing out in front to O’Donnell who jammed the puck into the back of the net to tie the game, 3-3.
Special teams ended up being the deciding factor in the contest for the Komets however, as with less than five minutes to play in regulation, forward Jamie Schaafsma lit the lamp on the power play to put Ft. Wayne back up, 4-3. Cincinnati made one final late push, however ran out of time in the end, and the Komets held on for a 4-3 win.
The Cyclones outshot Ft. Wayne, 32-30, with goaltender Mark Visentin stopping 26 in the loss. Cincinnati continues their three-in-three stretch on Friday night in Indy against the Fuel Face-off is scheduled for 7:35pm ET.
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