Komets Streak Past Aces 5-2 Wednesday
FT. WAYNE, INDIANA -The Fort Wayne Komets got enough goal scoring and defense to cruise past the Alaska Aces 5-2 Wednesday night at the Allen County War Memorial Arena.
The race for the Kelly Cup playoffs in the Mountain Division tightened further as Utah beat Rapid City and Missouri lost at Allen. Fourth-place Alaska now leads the Grizzlies by one point and the Mavericks by two.
High-scoring forward Shawn Szydlowski got Ft. Wayne off to a good start with his 23rd goal of the season at 5:17 of the first period. The power play strike came with the Aces Brad Navin off the ice with a hooking penalty.
The Aces countered at 12:10. After accepting a pass in the neutral zone, Peter Sivak raced into the Komets end, two on one with Tim Coffman. Sivak slowed in the right circle, used Coffman as a decoy, hesitated, then blasted a shot past Komets netminder Pat Nagle for his 34th goal of the season. Coffman got the lone assist.
Ft. Wayne regained the lead on a pretty passing play and finish. Mike Cazzola took a pass from Nagle, angled his way into the Aces zone on the left wing, and sauced a perfect pass to Garrett Thompson who roofed a shot over Aces goaltender Kevin Carr. The goal was Thompson's 19th of the season.
Shots after one period favored Ft. Wayne 20-7.
Two more Komets goals in the second period...Mike Cazzola at 12:41 for his 25th of the season, then Mike Embach at 14:44, his 17th, to take a 4-1 lead into the third period.
After two periods, the Komets outshot the Aces 33-20.
The third period was largely Ft. Wayne nursing their lead and the Aces spinning their tires trying to catch up.
Garet Hunt finally took a turnover to the front of the Komets net and slipped a shot past Nagle as Hunt was knocked down at 19:19, his third goal of the season, before Gabriel Desjardins ended the scoring with an empty net tap-in at 19:49 for the final 5-2 margin.
The final shot tally showed the Komets with a 40-32 advantage.
Alaska was 0-2 on the power play, Ft. Wayne was 2-4.
The Aces will now travel Thursday to Moline, Illinois for games Friday and Saturday against the Quad City Mallards to finish the final regular season road trip in Aces history.
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