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The Journal Gazette

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Justin Hodgman, of the Komets makes a break for Cincinnati’s goal during the first period at the Memorial Coliseum Saturday night.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Alexander Kuqali, of the Komets, takes a shot against Cincinnati during the first period at the War Memorial Coliseum Saturday night.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Ryan Lowney, of the Komets, chips the puck past Cincinnati’s Dominic Zombo during the first period at the Memorial Coliseum Saturday night.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Zachary Fucale of the Komets deflects an attempted shot made by Cincinnati during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum Saturday night.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Anthony Petruzzelli, of the Komets, intercepts a pass made to Justin Vaive, of Cincinnati, during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum Saturday night.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Jake Kamrass, of the Komets, looks to block a pass by Cincinnati during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum Saturday night.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Jake Kamrass, of the Komets, bounces the puck off of Michael Houser’s, of Cincinnati, head during the first period at the Memorial Coliseum Saturday night.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Justin Kea of the Komets intercepts and passes the puck before being sandwiched by Cincinnati during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum Saturday night.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Michael Houser, of Cincinnati and former Komet’s goalie, hangs his head as Komets score a second consecutive goal within 20 seconds of each other during the first period at the Memorial Coliseum Saturday night.

Saturday, November 24, 2018 10:20 pm

K's hitting stride, take 3rd straight

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Komets seem to be hitting their stride.

For the third straight game, they scored first. Zach Fucale stopped 24 shots. And they knocked off the Cincinnati Cyclones, the team that came into the night leading the Western Conference, with a 3-2 victory at Memorial Coliseum.

It’s only the second time this season the Komets (8-8-0) have won three straight games and the first time they’ve been at the .500 mark since the second game of the season.

The Cyclones (12-4-2) had won their previous five games.

(Video highlights are above.)

The Komets’ next game will also be against the Cyclones at U.S. Bank in Ohio on Wednesday.

It was a second straight good performance by Fucale, who got off to a rocky start this season but had stopped 27 of 29 shots in Thursday’s 3-2 victory over the Brampton Beast.

And this came against his predecessor, Michael Houser (29 saves).

Fort Wayne’s captain, Jamie Schaafsma, opened the scoring 5:21 into the first period by getting to the rebound of a Alexander Kuqali shot and putting it into an open net at the end of a 2-on-1 rush.

It took only 19 seconds for the Komets to build off their lead. Just off a faceoff in the Cincinnati zone, Jason Binkley sent a pass from the right boards that eluded all the defenders and was smacked into the back of the net by Shawn Szydlowski, last season’s ECHL MVP and leading scorer, who got his first goal of the season in his seventh game since returning from Norway.

Last season, Szydlowski had 31 goals and 79 points in 64 games. So far this season, he’s got one goal and eight points in seven games.

J.C. Campagna smacked a rebound into the net from a difficult angle, after a Justin Hodgman shot, to make it 3-0 at 3:46 of the second period. Hodgman, who leads the Komets in scoring with six goals and 24 points, has tallied at least a point in 14 of the team’s 16 games this season.

Cincinnati’s Jesse Schultz scored a power-play goal 18:33 into the third period with Chase Stewart serving a hooking penalty. Pascal Aquin added a goal with 10 seconds left.

Notes: Phelix Martineau made his American Hockey League debut with the Laval Rocket in a 4-2 loss to Charlotte. He had one shot on goal and received a boarding penalty. … The Komets raised $19,000 for the non-profit Honor Flight Northeast Indiana through their jersey auction Nov. 2 and 3, when they played as the Blacksnakes, honoring the 122nd Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard. Honor Flight, which was presented with a check before tonight’s game, takes veterans to Washington, D.C. memorials. … The Komets played without Marco Roy (concussion), Kevin Gibson, Joseph Widmar, Aidan Muir and Kyle Hayton.

jcohn@jg.net