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Cyclones take game five over Ft. Wayne in OT, 4-3
FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WKRC) -- Jonathan Hazen potted the game-winning strike just 1:46 into overtime to give the Cyclones (7-4) a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Fort Wayne Komets (6-4) in front of 4,716 at Memorial Coliseum on Sunday night in Game 5. The win gave Cincinnati a 3-2 edge in the best-of-seven series.
Fort Wayne came out with some solid pressure in the opening frame, sending four quick shots on Rob Madore (W, 30 saves, 7-4) and had an early power play chance. However, the Cyclones weathered the storm and struck first for the fifth time in the series when Logan Shaw who had just finished serving a penalty caught a drop pass from Taylor Aronson and sniped home his second goal in as-many games. And despite trailing 12-10 in the shots-on-goal department, Cincinnati carried the one-goal cushion into the first intermission.
The Komets finally got on the board at 14:45 when Dean Ouellet redirected Matt Maiones point shot past Madore to knot things at one. Then, just 1:25 later, Shawn Szydlowski cut into the low slot and deposited a shoulder-high backhand shot to give him his fourth lamplighter of the series and push Fort Wayne out in front 2-1. And thanks to nine middle period saves from Ben Meisner (L, 28 saves, 6-4) at the other end of the ice, the home team held a 2-1 edge after 40 minutes.
The third period saw a tremendous roller coaster of momentum right out of the gate. At 5:12, the Cyclones pulled even when Zach Budish lit the lamp by tipping home Josh McFaddens point blast. As time wound down, Komets captain Kaleigh Schrock briefly put his team ahead at 16:04 when his hard offering from the right circle eluded Madores glove to make it a 3-2 game. However, just 22 seconds later, Jonathan Hazen spring Josh Birkholz with a long pass who cashed in on his third goal of the playoffs to once again even the score. For the third consecutive game, the teams were unable to decide the contest in 60 minutes and they went into overtime.
Immediately upon the start of the extra session, the Cyclones got the puck deep into Fort Wayne territory and began to cycle offensively. From the left corner, Birkholz fed Hazen with a perfect pass in the mid-slot and he proceeded to light the lamp with a glove-high snap shot at 1:46. The victory sealed a 4-3 win for Cincinnati and gave them a 3-2 series lead in the best-of-seven series.
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