Crunk, Phillips lead K’s to victory
Taylor Crunk began the game with a fight, squaring off with Anthony Florentino at the opening faceoff at U.S. Bank Arena, in Cincinnati on Friday night. And his screen played a big part in Trey Phillips being able to net the game-winning goal from 50 feet out, as the Komets defeated the Cincinnati Cyclones 2-1 in front of 7,482 fans.
The Komets (18-14-1) have won five of their last seven games and put together back-to-back road victories. The Cyclones, who had come in to the night atop the Western Conference and the only team without a loss at home in regulation time, dropped to second place in the Central Division, one point back of Toledo.
Fort Wayne is third place in the division, nine points back of the Cyclones (22-7-4).
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Phillips’ goal was his first in three games with the Komets since being acquired in a trade from Jacksonville on Dec. 14 for Garrett Ladd and Chris Rygus.
The victory was not without its controversy; Cincinnati had appeared to take a 2-1 lead in the first period on an Alex Wideman shot that crept underneath goaltender Lukas Hafner and was swept out of the net by defenseman Kevin Gibson. Though video replay showed the puck to be in, the ECHL doesn’t use review in Cincinnati. A similar incident had happened in the Komets’ 4-1 victory Friday at Indianapolis, costing Fort Wayne a goal.
The Komets had the first five shots of the game, thanks in part to a flurry of penalties, but Fort Wayne’s Anthony Petruzzelli’s opening goal came at even strength on a shot from the left circle that eluded netminder Jonas Johansson at 5:22.
Cincinnati’s Mike Marnell answered with an 8-foot shot at 8:07, setting off the Cyclones’ Teddy Bear Toss that benefits the Cincinnati Police Department’s effort to aid kids affected by tragedies and traumas.
Hafner stopped 20 shots. Johansson stopped 18.
Fort Wayne forward Jake Kamrass’ point-scoring streak ended at 11 games.