CINCINNATI – Before we get into the epic Michael Houser save, I have to bring up the officiating tonight in the Komets' 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones. I don't think the Jamie Schaafsma goal, which was negated for being a high-stick, was correctly called. But I am cognizant that they don't have the benefit of replay. So OK, we move on.
But the call on Artur Tyanulin late in an important hockey game, when it's an obvious dive, and they call hooking when if anything it was a trip? I mean, that was terrible. I don't care who wins or loses, but I don't want to see the game decided on a bad call. So for that, I'm pleased Houser had the save on Jesse Schultz with 30 seconds left that put the Komets in position to clinch the series.
“I was actually pretty surprised that the (Shawn O’Donnell crossing pass to Schultz) got through, actually, but I pushed to follow it anyway. I pulled up, actually, to make sure the puck got through (Cincinnati’s Justin) Vaive,” said Houser, adding that Fort Wayne’s Curtis Leonard tied up Vaive’s stick to prevent a redirection there. “The puck got all the way through, so I had to do a two-push; I pushed to the middle and then I had to do a quick half-push because (Schultz) one-timed it. I got across and I tried to watch all the way in and it ended up going into my glove.”
Video of the save is above.
Teammate Cody Sol said this: “That was ridiculous. You’re standing on the bench and you can see that pass go through to (Schultz) and you almost put your head down, ‘It’s a goal.’ Then, all of a sudden you’re stomping your feet and you’re celebrating so hard. It was an amazing save. That’s what you need in the playoffs – big players coming up at big moments – and it was awesome.”
Coach Gary Graham: “Wow, I just took another look at it and that was an unbelievable save. Mike wasn’t happy with his game the other night. We had a nice talk (Friday) and, listening to him, I could just tell it was going to be his night. He had a ton of confidence and knew exactly where he needed to be tonight.”
Phelix Martineau: "It was crazy. You could see on the bench, everybody on the bench jumped up and it was a huge save for us. It's a huge mental-builder for us going into tomorrow."
I can tell you, the Komets really don't expect the Cyclones to go down easy. This game could easily have gone to the Cyclones, they know it and they have another home game. Back here at 3 p.m.