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Four-Goal Third Period Lifts Cyclones Over Komets, 5-2

January 12, 2013 | View Comments

Four-Goal Third Period Lifts Cyclones Over Komets, 5-2

FORT WAYNE, Indiana – The Cincinnati Cyclones (22-12-2-1) exploded for four unanswered goals in the third period as they rallied to defeat the Fort Wayne Komets (20-17-1-1) by a 5-2 final score in front of 7,606 at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night.

Fort Wayne found the game’s first goal at the 9:24 mark when Eric Giosa tipped home a cross ice pass past Michael Houser (W, 45 saves, 4-2-0) to give his team a 1-0 lead. However, not even three minutes later, the Cyclones answered; Josh Birkholz caught a pass at center ice, raced over the Komets blue line and sent a laser-accurate wrist shot over the glove-side shoulder of Charlie Effinger (L, 24 saves, 7-8-0-1) to even things at one after 20 minutes of play.

The Komets used an early power play to their advantage in the middle stanza; at 5:25, Tyler Butler fed a pass across the middle to Brett Smith, who redirected another shot past Houser to give Fort Wayne a 2-1 edge. And despite putting 13 shots on net in the second period, Cincinnati went into the second intermission down by a goal.

Cincinnati didn’t take much time to knot things in the final frame, as John McFarland camped out in front of the Komets net and slid home his 11th goal of the season after Dan Eves fed him the pass just 37 seconds in. That lamp lighter turned out to spark a large Cyclones rally. Mike Pelech later banked a shot from the right circle off of Effinger and into the net for the go-ahead (and eventual game-winning) tally at 10:11, as the Cyclones made it a 3-2 game. After the Komets net minder misplayed the puck on an attempted clear, David Pacan knocked it down and slid a tape-to-tape pass to McFarland on the right side; the Cyclones rookie deposited his second goal of the night at 14:08 to give his club a commanding 4-2 advantage. In the final minute, Garrett Wilson raced up ice and blocked a clearing attempt by Giosa as it ricocheted into the empty net, which sealed a 5-3 victory for Cincinnati.

Houser’s 45-save performance was a career high for the rookie and set the Cyclones season high as well.

The Cyclones Radio Network Stars of the Game are as follows:

First Star: John McFarland (2 goals for Cincinnati)
Second Star: Michael Houser (45 saves, Winning Goaltender)
Third Star: Eric Giosa (1 goal, 1 assist for Fort Wayne)

The two teams will close out their three-game weekend tomorrow evening when they drop the puck at 5:00pm inside Memorial Coliseum. Fans can hear all the action of the game on the Cyclones Radio Network (FM 100 The FAN, CyclonesHockey.com / America One / Cyclones Mobile App) starting at 4:40pm!

The Cyclones will return to the ice at U.S. Bank on Tuesday, January 15 when they host the Elmira Jackals for the final time this season at 7:30pm. In addition to $2 24-ounce Labatt Blue and Molson, fans are encouraged to wear their best neon-colored attire as we celebrate Neon Night! Call 513.421.PUCK or visit CyclonesHockey.com to reserve your seats! Fans can also get the latest team updates throughout the season on Facebook and Twitter (@CincyCyclones).

Click here for tonight's box score.

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