Fort Wayne, IN-- The Komets claimed games 1 and 2 of the Central Division semifinals against the Cincinnati Cyclones Saturday and Sunday in Fort Wayne and will take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series to Cincinnati for games 3, 4 and if necessary, 5 this week.
The Komets opened the playoffs with a 4-3 win Saturday in double overtime in front of a crowd of 7,318. It was the most attended Fort Wayne home playoff season opener in the Komets' 66-year history. After spotting the Cyclones a 2-0 lead the Komets rallied in the second period with goals by Daniel Maggio and Garrett Thompson to send the game into the second intermission even at 2-2. Fort Wayne's Ryan Lowney scored at 6:39 of the third for a 3-2 edge before Cincinnati's Jesse Schultz netted the equalizer at 8:41. The game ended in regulation knotted at 3-3 and after a scoreless first overtime, Jamie Schaafsma finally solved Cyclone netminder Jonas Johansson at 6:29 of the second extra session to claim game 1. The game became the 11th longest in Komet history at 86:29. Michael Houser earned the win making 26 saves on 29 shots while Johansson suffered the loss with 68 saves on 72 shots.
Sunday the Komets upended the Cyclones 3-1 for a sweep of the series weekend opener. This time the Komets opened a 2-0 lead on markers by Cody Sol and Mason Baptista before Cincinnati solved Houser in the third period on the power play with an extra attacker and 37 seconds remaining in the game. Garrett Thompson sealed the win with an empty net goal with 17 seconds remaining to give the Komets the win and send the series to Cincinnati with a 2-0 lead.
The series switches to Cincinnati. Game 3 will be Thursday night at 7:35 at the U.S. Bank Arena (6,955). Game 4 is slated for Saturday at 7:35pm and if game 5 is needed it will be held Sunday afternoon at 3:05. If necessary, games 6 and 7 are scheduled for Fort Wayne. Game 6 is set for Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30pm and game 7 would be Wednesday, April 25 at 7:30pm.
Third home playoff game guaranteed-- The Komets guaranteed a third home playoff game with their victory Sunday. Tickets for the next Komets home playoff game go on sale Tuesday at 10am at the Coliseum ticket office. Season tickets for 2018-19 are also on sale a the Komet office at 1010 Memorial Way in Fort Wayne. For more information visit the Komet office, Komets.com or call 260-483-0011.
2018 ECHL KELLY CUP CENTRAL DIVISION SEMIFINALS
FORT WAYNE KOMETS VS CINCINNATI CYCLONES
Fort Wayne leads best-of-seven series 2-0
Game 1- Saturday, April 14........... Cincinnati 3 at Fort Wayne 4, 2OT
Game 2- Sunday, April 15............. Cincinnati 1 at Fort Wayne 3
Game 3- Thursday, April 19.......... Fort Wayne at Cincinnati, 7:35pm ET
Game 4- Saturday, April 21........... Fort Wayne at Cincinnati, 7:35pm ET
Game 5- Sunday, April 22............. Fort Wayne at Cincinnati, 3:05pm ET*
Game 6- Tuesday, April 24............ Cincinnati at Fort Wayne, 7:30pm ET*
Game 7- Wednesday, April 25...... Cincinnati at Fort Wayne, 7:30pm ET*
All games on WOWO AM 1190, FM 107.5 and streaming live at www.komets.com.