FORT WAYNE, IN – The Komets scored a 6-4 victory Friday night over the Utah Grizzlies in Fort Wayne to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals.
The Komets opened the series getting goals by Cody Sol, Mike Embach and Troy Bourke in 2 minutes 51 seconds in the first 3:23 of the opening period to chase Utah’s starting goaltender Ryan Faragher. Utah’s Ryan Hayes finally solved goalie Pat Nagle at 9:03 but before the first stanza could end Fort Wayne’s Shawn Szydlowski would add a marker to give Fort Wayne a 4-1 lead going in to the first intermission.
The Grizzlies rallied in the second frame scoring three unanswered goals in a little more than seven minutes. T.J. Syner started the second-period scoring at 2:02 on the power play. Matt Berry hit the net at 7:59 before Barry Almeida scored with the man advantage at 9:24. Kyle Thomas scored his third goal of the playoffs at 15:21 to send the match into the second intermission with the Komets holding a 5-4 edge.
After a scoreless third period Fort Wayne’s Trevor Cheek solved netminder Mark Owuya with his second of the playoffs at 16:27 and Utah couldn’t recover.
Nagle earned the win in his eighth straight start making 23 saves on 27 shots. Faragher made three saves on six shots before leaving the game in the first period. Owuya collected his first loss of the post-season allowing three goals on 21 shots. The Komets were 1/6 on the power play while Utah was 2/9.
Game 2 is Saturday night at 7:30 at the Memorial Coliseum at 7:30pm.
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