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The Journal Gazette

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets defensemen Kyle folder, center, and Kyle Flemington, bottom, pile up in front of goalie Garrett Bartus to block a shot during the first period of their game against Cincinnati on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Cincinnati's Craig Dalrymple, left, sweeps the puck away from a charging Jamie Schaafsma in the second period of the Komets' against the Cyclones on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Cincinnati's Nick Huard, left, tries to get around Komets defenseman Curtis Leonard deep in the Komets' zone in the first period of their game on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets captain Jamie Schaafsma, left, watches as his shot from behind Cincinnati goalie Mark Visentin bounces off him into the net for a second-period goal on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Mike Cazzola of the Komets takes a shot at Memorial Coliseum as the Cincinnati Cyclones' Saverio Posa defends. 

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Gabriel Desjardins jumps to avoid the puck at Memorial Coliseum, as Cincinnati's Peter Leblanc, Eric Knodel and Mark Visentin are in on the play. 

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Cincinnati's Eric Knodel, left, watches as Komets forward Garrett Thompson tries to make a play on a high puck during the first period of their game on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets defenseman Kyle Flemington, left, mixes up with Cincinnati's Seth Ambroz during a second-period fight on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Gabriel Desjardins, left, tries to kick the puck away from Cincinnati's Arvin Atwal behind the Cyclones' net during the first period of their game on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Garrett Thompson, center, takes shot against Cincinnati goalie Mark Visentin during the second period of the Komets' game against the Cyclones on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Mike Cazzola tries to get to the rebound, after Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Mark Visentin makes a save and Craig Dalrymple guards the net. 

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets captain Jamie Schaafsma, middle, battles with Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Mark Visentin to get to the puck, which missed the net after a shot by Garrett Thompson. Cincinnati's Craig Dalrymple, bottom, and Saverio Posa are in on the play. 

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets goalie Garrett Bartus, reaches out with his blocker pad to knock the puck away from the goal during the first period of their game against Cincinnati on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Mason Baptista, left, celebrates after tipping in a goal in the second period of the Komets' game against Cincinnati on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette The puck hits the crossbar above Komets goalie Garrett Bartus during the first period of their game against Cincinnati on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

Friday, January 20, 2017 7:44 pm

Baptista scores twice, K's win

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

With the Komets missing so many of their top scorers, including all-star team captain Shawn Szydlowski, they need other players to step up offensively.

Mason Baptista did that tonight with his first two-goal game of the season, leading the Komets to a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones in front of 8,855 fans at Memorial Coliseum.

The Komets wore superhero-themed jerseys to honor police, fire and emergency medical departments, and they were auctioned off to benefit their respective charities.

(Video highlights are above.)

Goaltender Garrett Bartus, who stopped 24 of 26 shots, was one cape short of looking like a hero for the Komets (22-11-4), who have answered their first three-game losing streak of the season with back-to-back victories.

Szydlowski, who had the winning goal in Wednesday’s All-Star Game, was back with Cleveland of the American Hockey League tonight and was plus-1 in a 2-0 victory over Rockford. The Komets were also without Pat Nagle (ankle), Bobby Shea (Rochester of AHL), Trevor Cheek (Tucson of AHL), Gabriel Beaupre (concussion), Cody Sol (knee).

Fort Wayne has won 3 of 4 games this season against Cincinnati (17-16-4), which has lost its last three games overall.

The Komets had 15 of the first period’s 24 shots but neither team scored despite excellent chances, including a 25-foot shot by Fort Wayne’s Garrett Thompson that slipped underneath goaltender Mark Visentin but went just wide of the net. Cincinnati’s Troy Vance blasted a shot through a crowd that was deflected at 14:00 by Bartus, back from a one-game stint with Manitoba of the higher-level American Hockey League.

Bartus continued to shine with a flurry of second-period saves, including one from point-blank range by Dominic Zombo that deflected to safety at 6:40 by swinging his stick to his right.

After surviving six straight shots from the Cyclones, Baptista opened the scoring for the Komets at 8:35 by skating out of the left corner and deflecting a Will Weber shot from mid-air.

It took only 35 seconds for the Cyclones to answer with forward Colin Mulvey netting a shot from the bottom of the right circle.

The Komets answered back at 15:48 when defenseman Jason Binkley’s shot from the left boards went through the legs of Cincinnati’s Craig Dalrymple and caromed off Baptista’s skate.

When the teams had met previously, a 4-3 Fort Wayne victory Dec. 29, there was a 10-play fracas, four subsequent fights, 92 penalty minutes and statements from the Komets that they were taking “mental notes” of the Cyclones’ physical approach.

The roughness resurfaced after Fort Wayne captain Jamie Schaafsma scored on a redirection for a 3-1 lead 16:48 into the second period. After the ensuing faceoff, Taylor Crunk fought Arvin Atwal and, shortly after that, Kyle Flemington tussled with Seth Ambroz.

Visentin, who stopped 20 of 23 shots, was pulled after the Schaafsma goal in favor of Joel Rumpel. He was foiled by defenseman Kyle Follmer at 8:16 of the third period on a one-timer, after Garrett Thompson set him up with a pass from behind the net.

Rumpel stopped 7 of 8 shots. 

Notes: The referee was Jason Faist. … In the third period, Curtis Leonard fought Rob De Fulviis. … Szydlowski is plus-2 with one shot in two games for Cleveland this season. … The Komets play Saturday at Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Sunday at Brampton, Ontario.

jcohn@jg.net