CINCINNATI – The Komets were outworked by the Cincinnati Cyclones in all facets of the game, and the result was a 5-2 loss Saturday at U.S. Bank Arena.
Forward Christian Ouellet’s bloody face and sour expression summed up the Komets’ mood perfectly, after the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals were evened at one.
We didn’t play like we’re supposed to play. In the first game, we forechecked their defensemen and stayed in the systems and kept it simple. Today, we just tried to play defensively, Ouellet said.
Ouellet was the hero of the series-opening 2-1 victory, scoring off a rebound with 7.1 seconds left Friday. In the first period Saturday, the Komets coughed up the puck as they tried to carry it into the offensive zone, and it caromed into his face and left him bloodied.
He left for only a bit and in the second period. He also got in a nasty cross-checking battle with Cincinnati’s Mike Dalhuisen, which wasn’t penalized.
It was one of the few battles the Komets didn’t lose.
They have good skill and good speed, and we need to have a good practice Monday and come back on the ice and play like we did in the first game, Ouellet said.
The Komets came into the night 1 for 17 in the playoffs on power plays with Mike Embach scoring the lone power play goal in Game 1 of the series. They were 0 for 4 in Game 2.
The Cyclones came into the night 1 for 18 and then went 1 for 4, thanks to Zach Budish’s second-period redirection goal.
Our power play has been clicking. We were getting the chances, they just weren’t going in, said Cincinnati forward Josh Shalla, who scored twice. It happens to be the uglier ones that end up going in. But it’s been going good (on the power play), and they will start going in for us more.
The Komets played without Sy Nutkevitch, Jason Dale, Kenton Miller and Justin Sefton. Tickets for Game 5, which will be Sunday at Memorial Coliseum, go on sale at noon Monday at the box office. With three assists, Cincinnati’s Byron Froese now has 10 points in the playoffs, second to Alaska’s Nick Mazzolini, who has 12. Fort Wayne’s Embach and Shawn Szydlowski both have seven points, tying them for eighth in the league.