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Komets rebound to shock undefeated Cyclones

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Marino sets up third-period goals in rally

Saturday, November 9, 2013 - 10:31 pm

The Fort Wayne Komets found out some things about themselves Saturday night.

After the Fort Wayne Komets played so poorly at home in Friday night's 6-2 loss to Wheeling, about the only people who gave them a chance on Saturday were the players riding the bus to Cincinnati to face the undefeated Cyclones.

Playing their most-disciplined game of the season, the Komets rallied from a 2-1 third-period deficit to give the Cyclones their first loss of the season 3-2.

``The boys deserved it,'' Komets coach Gary Graham said. ``We had a very basic, simple approach and we executed it and the guys bought in. It was nothing fancy, chip and chase, win the battles and the guys did a great job.''

Chris Auger scored the game-tying goal on a short-handed effort with 4:12 off a pass from Brandon Marino, and then Marino set up Mickey Lang with the game-winning goal with 2:10 remaining. Andrey Makarov made 27 saves as the Komets improved to 3-4-2.

Besides the stellar effort, the Komets also might have discovered a solid third line as Matt Firman, Kaleigh Schrock and newly signed center Phil Mangan had a solid night harassing the Cyclones' top line.

Mangan signed before the game because the Komets were playing one forward and one defenseman short because of injuries to forward Shawn Szydlowski and defenseman Simon Danis-Pepin. Mangan, 26, appeared in two games this season with Rapid City CHL and skated stints last season in the ECHL with Stockton, South Carolina and Bakersfield.

Fort Wayne also acquired center Kenton Miller from Utah of the ECHL in a trade for cash late Friday night. Miller, 22, is expected to arrive in Fort Wayne and join the team on Monday.

The Komets out-shot the Cyclones 32-29 during the game and at the halfway point of the second period had an 11-1 advantage. They also showed some discipline, allowing only Cincinnati only two power-play chances.

``This is where we want to be,'' Graham said. ``This is a benchmark game for us against the league's hottest team. We just talked before the game about not the adversity of the moment but what a great opportunity it would be for us. This was an opportunity for us to get this thing back on track.''

Fort Wayne plays its next four games at Memorial Coliseum, starting with Friday's 8 p.m. contest against Toledo.