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Tony Tribble - Special to The Journal Gazette
The Komets' Aaron Clarke circles around Cincinnati goalie Rob Madore.

Komets beat Cyclones on late goal

CINCINNATI – The Komets continue to amaze.

A Christian Ouellet goal with 7.1 seconds remaining at U.S. Bank Arena tonight gave Fort Wayne a 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones in game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The goal came after he got the rebound of a Mike Embach shot on goalie Rob Madore.

The Komets lead the best-of-seven series 1-0. Game 2 is here on Saturday.

In their first-round, five-game victory over Reading, the Komets won the opener in similar fashion – Shawn Sydlowski scored with 8.1 seconds left on the road.

Cincinnati’s Wade Megan had so many chances early in the game, one would have to wonder if he would ever find the back of the net.

In Cincinnati’s first shot of the game – 7:10 into the first period – he had a breakaway but was stopped by goaltender Ben Meisner, who also thwarted Megan’s shot off the rebound.

Megan did get the puck past Meisner on an 18-foot shot at 11:30, but it ricocheted off the cross bad. And he had two chances to score on wraparounds at 8:00 of the second period, but Meisner was there to close the gap at the right goalpost.

But a pass from forward Barry Almeida from the left corner set up Megan for a goal and a 1-0 lead, as he chipped it over Meisner at 8:13 for a 1-0 lead.

At that point, the Komets had outshot the Cyclones 15-9 but gotten only one great scoring chance; forward Shawn Szydlowski got behind the defense but his shot caromed off the mask of goalie Rob Madore early in the second period.

Meisner, who came into the night having stopped 96.3 percent of the shots he’s faced, gloved a Dan Eves shot at the end of a 3-on-1 rush at 13:11 of the second period.

The Komets tied it at 17:00 when they got their first power-play goal of the playoffs – they had been 0 for 15 – on forward Mike Embach’s slapshot from the left circle, which slipped just underneath the crossbar. Embach, who was disgruntled that Cincinnati traded him away early this season, has seven goals and 10 points in seven games against his former team.

The Komets killed a late power play, dropping Cincinnati to 1 for 18 in the playoffs, and Meisner preserved the tie with a stop on Megan on a breakaway at 16:45.

The Komets outshot the Cyclones 36-23.

For more on this story return to Ice Chips, go to www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. or see Saturday's Journal Gazette.

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at jcohn@jg.net.

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