FORT WAYNE, IN – With a chance to put the series to bed after a thrilling overtime win on Saturday night in Cincinnati, the Cyclones went in to Fort Wayne for game six looking to put the final nail in the Komets’ coffin. That game on Saturday was the first all series a home team was able to get the victory in their own building. However, Fort Wayne had other plans and was able to squeeze out an overtime home victory of their own to tie the series at three and force a decisive game seven.
Cincinnati netminder, Brad Thiessen, as well as his Fort Wayne counterpart, Pat Nagle, were able to stay strong throughout the first twenty minutes of play.
The Komets have had a habit all series long of getting goals early in periods. That held true in the 2nd. Just 1:07 into the middle frame, a blue-line drive from Alex Belzile would beat Thiessen on the power play to make it 1-0 Fort Wayne.
Cincinnati would answer back midway through the 3rd. Brett Wysopal would throw a shot on cage, it deflected in front right to Andrew Yogan, who was able to stash the loose puck past Nagle. Nagle didn’t know where the puck was as Yogan tied the game at 1-1.
For the third straight game, these two teams would need overtime to decide a winner. This time, however, double overtime was not need. Cincinnati dug themselves a hole taking a too many men penalty, as well as a high sticking minor on top of it to put the Komets on a 5-on-3 power play. And like clockwork, because you simply knew it was coming, Garrett Thompson was able to squeak the puck through Thiessen to win it for the Komets by a final of 2-1.
As well as another oddly officiated game, because once again, it is the playoffs, and I firmly believe the officials need to swallow the whistle a bit and let the boys play. Last night’s game went 65 minutes and 30 seconds. A total of 54 penalty minutes (32 on Cincinnati, 22 on Fort Wayne) were assessed during that time frame. So almost the entire game, somebody was sitting in either the Cyclones’ or Komets’ penalty box. In fact, after game six, Cincinnati/Fort Wayne is the most penalized series in the league so far with 224 penalty minutes assessed in six games. Wheeling/Florida is a close second with 223 penalty minutes assessed in the same amount of games.
And your stat of the day? 0-for-9. That’s right. The Cyclones went 0-for-9 on the power play. That includes two separate 5-on-3 opportunities. Cincinnati came away with zilch. Their inability to score on the man advantage has been their downfall in this entire series and could quite possibly cost them their playoff lives. Throughout this entire series, Cincinnati has gone 1-for-33 on the power play. The only time they’ve scored on the man advantage, was way back in game one with Jack Downing‘s late first period tally to open up the scoring. The Komets? Fort Wayne has gone 9-for-37 this series on the power play. The man advantage has been proving more and more to be the deciding factor in this series.
Game seven is on Wednesday night in Fort Wayne. It is Cincinnati’s first time since the 2010 American Conference Finals against Reading, that they’ve played a game seven. If the Cyclones are going to make it out of this alive and survive Fort Wayne, they have absolutely got to start converting on these lofty amount of power play chances the Komets are giving them.
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