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Komets rally to beat first-place Cyclones

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For more on the Komets, follow Blake Sebring on Twitter at www.twitter.com/blakesebring and at his blog www.tailingthekomets.com.

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Fort Wayne gets emotional win after trailing 3-1

Saturday, January 5, 2013 - 11:00 pm

One night after suffering a heart-breaking loss at home, the Fort Wayne Komets rallied to return the favor to the Cincinnati Cyclones. Playing in front of a crowd of more than 12,000 Cyclones fans, the Komets rallied from a 3-1 second-period deficit to beat the division leaders 5-4.

``It was an awesome effot by our team,'' Komets coach Al Sims said by phone from Cincinnati. ``We talked in the second intermission that we weren't going to let the same thing happen again tonight. It was a huge game, and a huge moment in our team, and then we went out and scored in the first five minutes.''

Brandon Marino, Matt Firman, Mike Hoban, Nick Schaus and J.M. Rizk scored for the Komets who improve to 10-5-2 on the road despite an 8-10 home record. Rizk, Corey Elkins and Dan Nycholat also all passed two assists.

Hoban was called up earlier in the day from Dayton of the Federal Hockey League to fill in for winger Luca Caputi who missed the game after suffering a partially separated shoulder during Friday's loss to the Cyclones. Caputi will be out of the lineup one-to-two weeks, and Hoban will play tomorrow against Orlando.

``He played tremendous and was one of our best players,'' Sims said. ``He was real strong and looked like he belonged in this league tonight. He looked like a different player from his first call-up.''

Firman played despite getting knocked out of Friday's game with a shoulder injury, and scored the game-winning goal five minutes into the third period.

After falling behind 3-1 on a short-handed Cincinnati goal early in the second period, the Komets out-shot Cincinnati for the period 14-4 and for the game 31-24. Kenny Reiter made 20 saves in the Fort Wayne nets.

The Komets have turned up their defense in the last two games, holding the ECHL North Division leaders to a combined 50 shots on consecutive nights.

``Tyler Butler was the only veteran back there tonight, and I think the kids played really well,'' Sims said. ``Our young kids are a lot better than they were at the start of the season, and they are only going to get better from here.''

Fort Wayne, 18-5-2, trails Cincinnati by four points and Toledo by three points in the North Division. The Komets host Orlando at 5 p.m. today to end a five-game week.

``We've won four of six now and if we can get a win tomorrow it's five of seven,'' Sims said. ``If you can start winning six, seven, eight games out of 10 you're going to start moving up in the standings.''