READING, Pa. – Shawn Szydlowski stole the puck in the Reading Royals zone and snapped a shot into the net with 8.1 seconds remaining for a 2-1 Komets victory in Game 1 of best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinals series before 3,261 fans at Santander Arena.
Fort Wayne outshot the defending-champion Royals 39-21.
After a back-and-forth first period, in which Fort Wayne had 12 of the 16 shots, Reading opened the scoring at 13:25 with a goal from the left circle by forward Josh Brittain.
Brittain, who played 31 games last season for Fort Wayne, snapped the puck from the left circle while falling to the ice, after teammate Sean Wiles dropped a pass while tumbling to the ice himself.
After the goal, Fort Wayne tallied 13 of the next 14 shots in the span of 16:27. But most of those shots were from the perimeter and easily stopped by Reading goaltender Brandon Anderson.
Forward Mike Embach tied it for the Komets at 16:47 of the second period with a short-handed goal, after teammate William Lacasse was sent to the penalty box for a hit on T.J. Syner. The goal was set up with a pass from the right corner by Brandon Marino.
For more on this story go to the blog "Ice Chips" later tonight, return to www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. or see Friday's Journal Gazette.