CINCINNATI, Ohio – A four goal outburst by the Fort Wayne Komets (18-15-1-1) proved to be too much for the Cincinnati Cyclones (20-11-2-0) to overcome as the visiting club earned a 5-4 win in front of a regular season record crowd of 12,228 at U.S. Bank Arena on Throwback Night and Teddy Bear Toss Night.
Tons of plush covered the ice early in the contest as the Cyclones struck just 4:17 into the game, sparking the shower of donations. Garret Wilson connected with a pass to Andrew Conboy as he was streaking into the slot and Conboy buried it past Kenny Reiter (W, 20 saves, 9-6-0) lighting the lamp to put the Cyclones up 1-0. The Komets evened things at one goal apiece at the 7:42 mark when Cincinnati net minder Brian Foster (L, 26 saves, 13-5-2) misplayed a puck behind his own net, allowing J.M. Rizk to deposit his 14th goal of the season. With only 1:38 left in the first period, the Cyclones regained a one-goal advantage on a power play opportunity. Garret Wilson picked up his second assist on the night when he sent a pass from behind the goal to Taylor Ellington who slapped a one-timer by Reiter for his first goal in a Cyclones jersey. Jarrod Skalde’s team remained ahead 2-1 as time expired for the opening 20 minutes.
The Cyclones pushed their lead to 3-1 shortly after the teams took to the ice for the middle frame. At 2:35, David Pacan split the Fort Wayne defensemen and beat Reiter on a breakaway short-handed goal. The Komets would answer back, though, with a Brandon Marino tally less than a minute later to cut the deficit to one. Fort Wayne rear guard Nick Schaus followed with the game-tying strike on a shorthanded breakaway goal of his own with 6:52 gone. The teams stayed deadlocked at three at the second intermission.
Fort Wayne got their first lead of the night just 1:39 into the final stanza when Hoban knocked in a rebound from the bottom of the right circle. Then, at the 4:41 mark, the Komets extended their cushion to 5-3 on a tap in by Matt Firman off a rebound left over from a point blast. The Cyclones fought back hard as Mike Pelech brought the home team to within one goal at 14:04 – as he batted in his third of the year. But despite several late attempts to tie the game, Cincinnati was unable to pot the equalizer and fell by the 5-4 final score.