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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Marco Roy notches his second game-winning goal of the Western Conference finals in Game 3 on Wednesday night at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Artur Tyanulin, left, checks the Eagles' Jake Marto against the glass during the first period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Anthony Petruzzelli, left, and the Eagles' Drayson Bowman fight for the puck during the first period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette A referee has to hold back the Komets' Mason Baptista, right, and the Eagles' Matt Register to keep them from fighting during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.  

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Referees have to hold back the Eagles' Ryan Olsen, left, and the Komets' Anthony Petruzzelli to keep them from fighting during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets celebrate after scoring a goal during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.  

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette A referee has to hold back the Komets' Mason Baptista, right, and the Eagles' Matt Register to keep them from fighting during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.  

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' goalie Michael Houser guards as the Eagles' players get close to the goal during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Kevin McKernan, left, tries to block the Eagles' Nicolas Meloche's pass during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' goalie Michael Houser guards the goal during the first period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Gabriel Desjardins, left, tries to get the puck away from the Eagles' Michael Joly during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.  

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Trevor Cheek, left, and the Eagles' Ryan Olsen try to get ahold of the puck during the first period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Garrett Thompson looks for a teammate to pass the puck to during the first period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.

Thursday, May 17, 2018 1:00 am

echl playoffs komets 4 Colorado 2

Roy wins it again for K's

His latest goal puts Fort Wayneup 2-1 in series

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Schedule

Who: Komets vs. Colorado

What: Western Conference finals

Series: Komets lead 2-1

Game 1: Colorado 3, Komets 2, OT

Game 2: Komets 3, Colorado 2

Game 3: Komets 4, Colorado 2

Game 4: 8 p.m. Friday at Coliseum

Game 5: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Coliseum

Game 6: 9 p.m. Tuesday at Colorado*

Game 7: 9 p.m. Wednesday at Colorado*

*If necessary

Marco Roy isn't the captain or an alternate. He's not necessarily vocal in the locker room or on the ice. But in a lot of ways, he's become the inspirational leader of the Komets.

Battling through myriad injuries, including ailing knees, he's given as much as he can, lunging to block shots, limping to the bench, then coming back for more on the next shift.

His efforts have been contagious for the Komets, whose 4-2 victory Wednesday at Memorial Coliseum over the defending-champion Colorado Eagles gave them a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 Western Conference finals.

Roy followed up his game-winning goal in Sunday's 3-2 win in Game 2 in Loveland, Colorado, with an even better game Wednesday. He had another winning goal and two assists in front of 6,089 fans.

“Marco, what he's been battling throughout in the playoffs and throughout the season, it's incredible. That's the kind of thing where the heart comes in and he doesn't quit,” said teammate Garrett Thompson, who opened the scoring. “He's laying his body down and blocking shots. As he's going through these pains of playoffs, and that shows the will and heart of guys like that, he's been battling. He's been playing defensively and playing smart and playing hard, and it's nice to see that he gets rewarded for his hard work.”

Roy relishes his role.

“I'm a two-way center,” he said. “(Coach) Gary (Graham) trusts me to win some good faceoffs down low – I had an important one at the end of this game – and he trusts me for that and I've got to take pride in that. It's an important role. Tonight, I was on the ice for three goals for the team, including the big power-play goal, and there was a nice set-up play I had, and it's fun to contribute like that and to get the win and go up 2-1 in the series.”

The Komets opened the third period with a 5-on-3 power play, thanks to penalties on Colorado's Collin Bowman for roughing Anthony Petruzzelli and Matt Register for high-sticking Gabriel Desjardins, and Roy's cross-ice pass set up Desjardins for a one-timer and a 2-1 lead. Roy made it 3-1 at 3:23, after Thompson sped down the right wing and fed him a backhand pass for a one-timer that eluded goaltender Joe Cannata, who stopped 22 shots.

“When you come back from an injury, a lot of times you just are like, 'I don't want to hurt the team and I just want to play well defensively,'” Graham said of Roy, who missed all but one game of the first-round series against Cincinnati and now has two goals and 11 points in 10 postseason games. “That's what his mindset was a lot – 'I want to be a reliable guy defensively and win draws' – but now, as he gets his confidence going, he's evolving into that ... dynamic offensive playmaker that can score and check.”

Colorado's Jake Marto scored his second goal of the game with nine seconds left. Desjardins added an empty netter four seconds later.

Goalie Michael Houser, who missed Game 2 with an injury suffered on a Ryan Harrison hit, stopped 27 shots for the Komets, who will play host to Game 4 at 8 p.m. Friday.

Fort Wayne's Shawn Szydlowski, the league's regular-season MVP and leading scorer, couldn't play because of a lower-body injury, and J.C. Beaudin, the Eagles' top playoff scorer, was out with an upper-body injury.

jcohn@jg.net