Fort Wayne, IN-- The Mallards opened the scoring in the first 1:27 of the game and the Komets closed it at 22 seconds into overtime.
The Komets clipped the Mallards at Quad City Wednesday night 4-3 in overtime to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Central Division semifinals series.
After Quad City got on the board at 1:27 of the first, the Komets responed with a pair of unanswered goals. First Mike Cazzola beat Mallard goaltender C.J. Motte at 8:56 of the first frame to send the game knotted at 1-1 into the first intermission. Gabriel Desjardins opened the second stanza at 3:14 before Quad City's Sam Warning made it 2-2 at 14:20. Shawn Szydlowski gave the Komets a 3-2 lead at 17:16 to finish the second period scoring.
Quad City's Alex Petan netted the equalizer at 12:44 of the third period for the only goal of the final stanza and to send the game into overtime tied at 3-3.
With the Komets on the power play at the start of the extra period due to a Grant Arnold penalty for continuing to play without a helmet at the end of the third period, Ryan Lowney hit Mike Cazzola with a pass from the left point, Cazzola found Kyle Thomas in front of the net and Thomas finished a tick-tac-toe play for the game winner. Cazzola, Szydlowski and Thomas collected a goal and an assist each for two-point nights.
Komet goaltender Pat Nagle earned his third straight playoff win making 33 saves on 36 shots. Motte suffered the loss after allowing four goals on 35 shots.
The Komets were 1/1 on the power play while the Mallards were 0/3.
Fort Wayne can sweep the Mallards Friday night at the iWireless Center in Quad City when the two teams meet for game 4 of the series.
If needed, game 5 will be held Saturday at Quad City. Games 6 and 7, if necessary, are scheduled for Fort Wayne.
2017 ECHL KELLY CUP CENTRAL DIVISION SEMIFINALS
FORT WAYNE KOMETS VS QUAD CITY MALLARDS
Fort Wayne leads best-of-seven series 3-0
Game 1- Friday, April 14...............Quad City 3 at Fort Wayne 4
Game 2- Saturday, April 15...........Quad City 1 at Fort Wayne 3
Game 3- Wednesday, April 19......Fort Wayne 4 at Quad City 3, OT
Game 4- Friday, April 21...............Fort Wayne at Quad City, 8:05pm ET
Game 5- Saturday, April 22...........Fort Wayne at Quad City, 8:05pm ET*
Game 6- Monday, April 24............Quad City at Fort Wayne, 7:30pm ET*
Game 7- Wednesday, April 26......Quad City at Fort Wayne, 7:30pm ET*
Get Tickets-- Regardless of what happens in Quad City, there will be at least a third and fourth Fort Wayne home playoff game. Tickets for Fort Wayne's playoff home game #3 are on sale at the Coliseum ticket office and at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets for Fort Wayne home playoff game #4 will go on sale Friday at 10am. Also, Season Tickets with Early Bird Pricing are now available. For more information visit Komets.com or call 260-483-0011.
Komets on the air-- Fans can follow the Komet playoffs on WOWO AM 1190 and FM 107.5 with Shane Albahrani calling the play-by-play. All Komet radio broadcasts can also be heard worldwide as presented by Omni Source Radio Recycle at www.komets.com.