Observations on Game 3 in Cincinnati

Komets forward Marc-Olivier Roy chases the puck down during the first period. (By Tony Bailey Photography)

The Komets lost 7-6 in overtime as Arvin Atwal got loose and alone in the slot to score on a wrist shot 4:50 into the extra period… This is one where the Komets probably wish they could play again tonight instead of having to wait until Saturday for Game 3. The Komets still lead the series 2-1, but they blew a 4-2 lead late in the second period… The Komets gave up a goal with 1.7 seconds left in the second period and then three goals in the third period but somehow managed to still push the Cyclones to overtime… This was the highest-scoring Komets playoff game since May 12, 2010 when they lost to Flint 7-6 in overtime… They’ve actually scored 10 goals in three playoff games… Phelix Martineau scored two goals and two assists to lead the Fort Wayne offense, and Gabriel Desjardins had a goal and three assists… Cincinnati’s big line of Justin Vaive, David Muzito-Bagenda and Jesse Schultz combined for four goals… They were going mostly against the Fort Wayne forwards group of Shawn Szydlowski, Garrett Thompson and Dennis Kravchenko… The Fort Wayne defensemen need to do a better job of sealing off the side of the net against onrushing Cyclones forwards. They are allowing the forwards to get too close to Komets goaltender Michael Houser when they could be shoved wide and behind the net. They’ve allowed a goal per game off the same, fixable play… The Cyclones are very good off the rush which is why the Komets’ defensive positioning in the neutral zone is so important. It broke down completely during the third period and overtime… The smaller Komets defensemen can’t handle Cincinnati’s Justin Vaive in front of the net or on rebounds. He’s too big and too physical, and he’s been about half the Cyclones’ offense in the series… It’s become apparent that the Cyclones’ defensemen cannot handle the Fort Wayne forecheck when the Komets all buy in and go after them… This was the first game in the series where it looked like the Cyclones could compete with the Komets five-on-five. Coming into this game, the Komets had out-scored the Cyclones 5-1 at even strength, but it was 6-4 against in Game 3. That can’t happen again… That said, the Komets have done a better job of getting their penalties by playing defense and not taking them in the offensive zone which has been a huge problem in recent playoff years… The Komets got a huge speed increase with the insertion of Marc-Olivier Roy and Artie Tyanulin into the lineup… Not sure what happened to Roy late in the game, but he didn’t seem to get much ice time after the second period… Remember two weeks ago when the Komets’ forwards were always getting beaten back up ice, and opponents were always scoring on trailers? That’s not happening as much… The Komets also did a very good job on faceoffs in Game 3. That helped them control play in the Cincinnati zone. The Cyclones forwards were getting frustrated with their inability to win draws… Phelix Martineau has finally given Gabriel Desjardins someone with the speed to keep up with him… The music in Cincinnati does a good job of getting the fans involved… During the third-period kiss cam, Ryan Lowney leaned over and kissed the helmet of Roy. That’s exactly when the Fort Wayne comeback seemed to start. Coincidence?… This looked like a game where the Komets forgot the gameplan and figured they could simply win on talent. That idea failed… The lack of discipline on the forecheck and in the neutral zone allowed Cincinnati to swing the momentum and take control… Don’t be surprised if Garrett Bartus starts in net on Saturday…


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