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The Journal Gazette

  • Tony Bailey Photography Komets forward Phelix Martineau prepares to send a pass to Artur Tyanulin at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati on Sunday, as the Cyclones' Daniel Muzito-Bagenda tries to defend.

  • Tony Bailey Photography Komets goaltender Michael Houser makes a first-period save at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. 

  • Tony Bailey Photography Komets forward Anthony Petruzzelli, bottom, shoots the puck toward Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Jonas Johansson at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati during the second period Sunday. 

  • Tony Bailey Photography Komets defenseman Ryan Lowney, bottom, prepares to shoot the puck at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati toward Cyclones goaltender Jonas Johansson, middle, while Rob De Fulviis goes to knee to try and block the puck and Eric Knodel, left, looks on Sunday.

Sunday, April 22, 2018 5:50 pm

Martineau's goal huge as Komets end series

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

CINCINNATI – Phelix Martineau continues to impress.

Almost fresh out of junior hockey, Martineau’s goal on a blistering slap shot 16:39 into the third period today was the decisive moment of the Komets’ 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones at U.S. Bank Arena.

It was followed by an empty-net goal from Cody Sol as the Komets completed a 4-1 series victory in the best-of-7 Central Division semifinals.

They will now face their rival, the Toledo Walleye, which won the regular-season division title. That series starts in Toledo, Ohio on Saturday.

The Komets trailed by a goal heading into the third period but ended the series in which they won two of three games at U.S Bank Arena.

It was the same officiating crew, including referees Alex Normandin and Jonathan Sitarski, that called the Komets’ 2-1 victory Saturday night that saw a goal by Fort Wayne captain Jamie Schaafsma controversially overturned in the third period because they thought he played it with a high stick.

Schaafsma had a chance to atone during a power play 5:45 into the first period when he got the puck in front of an open Cincinnati net, but he slid the puck just wide of the left post.

Then Fort Wayne goalie Michael Houser, who had cemented the Game 4 victory by thwarting Jesse Schultz from point-blank range in the waning seconds, picked up right where he left off by foiling Brandon McNally from the same spot at the end of a 2-on-1 rush.

The Komets opened the scoring at 10:58 when Artur Tyanulin netted a shot from 25 feet out just as the referee was raising his arm to signal a penalty on Justin Danforth for upending Fort Wayne’s Phelix Martineau.

Houser came up with another big save 3:59 into the second period when he thwarted a Justin Vaive backhand shot from point-blank range, at which point both teams had eight shots on goal.

The Cyclones’ Shawn O’Donnell tied it at 1 by flicking the puck from the right boards with a shot that seemed to surprise Houser, who let it carom off him before it flew inside the crossbar at 13:32.

The Komets’ penchant for giving up late-period goals struck again with six seconds left in the second when Vaive finished off a 2-on-1 rush for a 2-1 Cyclones lead. But defenseman Jason Binkley answered by snapping the puck in from 20 feet at 12:42 of the third period.