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The Journal Gazette

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Cincinnati Cyclones forward Dominic Zombo, left, misses the net as he’s chased by the Komets’ Taylor Crunk. Looking on are goaltender Michael Houser, middle, Komets defenseman Curtis Leonard and Cincinnati’s Brandon McNally, top, at Memorial Coliseum. 

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets defenseman Daniel Maggio, left, tries to block a shot from the Cincinnati Cyclones' Daniel Muzito-Bagenda on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Garrett Thompson, right, beats the Cincinnati Cyclones' Chris Leone in a race for the puck at Memorial Coliseum as Cyclones goaltender Anthony Peters looks on Friday night. 

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Dennis Kravchenko begins hustling up the Memorial Coliseum ice as goaltender Michael Houser looks on Friday night.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets defenseman Curtis Leonard, left, defends an odd-man rush by the Cincinnati Cyclones' Justin Danforth, top, and Shawn O'Donnell at Memorial Coliseum on Friday night.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets defenseman Jalen Smereck, in his first game since being sent down by the American Hockey League’s Tucson Roadrunners, tries to slow down the Cincinnati Cyclones’ Mike Barrett but ends up high-sticking him. No penalty was called on the play and Barrett’s shot was stopped by goaltender Michael Houser at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Garrett Thompson, right, beats the Cincinnati Cyclones' Chris Leone in a race for the puck at Memorial Coliseum as Cyclones goaltender Anthony Peters looks on Friday night.

Saturday, October 28, 2017 12:00 am

Komets' performance 'unacceptable'

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Believe it or not, it’s pretty rare for me to walk into the Komets’ locker room and hear everyone say the same thing. But tonight, after a 3-2 overtime loss to the Cincinnati Cyclones, I kept hearing the same word over and over again: “unacceptable.”

The following were deemed unacceptable by the coaches and players – giving up so many odd-man rushes they thought it might have been an ECHL record; all the turnovers, including 15 in the first period alone; falling behind by two goals; the lack of effort until the third period; wasting a terrific 22-save effort by Michael Houser that felt more like 42; losing back-to-back games on Memorial Coliseum ice.

Asked if all the changes to the lineup played a part, coach Gary Graham said, “We’re not looking to make excuses. You could tell there was not a lot working tonight for us. You’ve got to tip your hat to Cincinnati; they worked hard and they created a lot of their stuff. The thing is, it doesn’t matter what the lines are, who’s in or who’s out, you’ve got to take care of the puck. We had 15 turnovers in the first period. It was a disgusting, appalling game across the board. It sucks because you waste a great, individual goaltending effort.”

You could see the promise of the newcomers – Artur Tyanulin scored in the second period by redirecting a shot from mid-air, Zac Larraza tied it 3:43 into the third period by winning a race to the puck and shooting the puck underneath goalie Anthony Peters, and Jalen Smereck had an assist – but like everyone else they had to shoulder some of the blame.

“They reiterated it when I got here – you hate to lose. One point is not acceptable at home. We just have to play better, limit the turnovers,” Larraza said. “We had a goalie who played really well for us and we kind of gave one away there.”

(Video highlights are above.)

Tyanulin, by the way, reminds me a little of Andrei Bashkirov, who tore it up for the Komets in the original International Hockey League for the MiG Line.

Cincinnati took three penalties for delay of game, thanks to the new faceoff rules, and the Komets’ power play wasn’t very good, going 0 for 3.

The worst part was that the Komets had all week to practice for this game. And, now, they get to practice for another week before facing Adirondack on Nov. 4 at the Coliseum.

“I really thought we had a good week of practice and I’m a little bit in shock about the pace we played at,” Graham said. “We were stuck in mud for some reason.”

At least the Komets (2-1-1) were able to salvage a point in the standings against the Cyclones (1-1-1).

“It’s always good to get a point but that’s two straight losses on home ice and that’s unacceptable for us,” defenseman Jason Binkley said. “With this being the only game this week for us, we should have come out a lot harder and a lot faster in the first period. Thankfully, Houser played on his head and held us in there. Getting a point is good, but we didn’t play the way we needed to (in order) to win.”

jcohn@jg.net