The Komets defeated the Cyclones in Cincinnati Tuesday night 5-3 and clinched a playoff berth for the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Fort Wayne win, coupled with a Tulsa loss to Colorado Tuesday, clinches a spot in the ECHL playoffs for Fort Wayne's third run for the Kelly Cup Championship.
Fort Wayne's Jamie Schaafsma opened the scoring in the first period before Cincinnati answered with a pair from Christiaan Minella and Jack Downing to send the game into the first intermission with the Clones up 2-1.
Schaafsma opened the scoring again in the second frame with his second tally of the game at 3:10 before Garrett Meurs found the twine at 9:16 for a 3-2 lead. Cincinnati's Nick Huard scored the equalizer on the power play at 14:32 to even the score before the end of the second stanza.
Meurs put the Komets ahead for good at 11:30 of the third period with his second marker of the game and Shawn Szydlowski put the cap on it with an empty net goal with 18 seconds left on the clock to give the Komets the 5-3 win and a guaranteed spot in the playoffs.
Goaltender Pat Nagle earned his 27th win of the season making 23 saves on 26 shots while Cincinnati's Andy Iles suffered his eighth loss of the year allowing four goals on 14 Fort Wayne shots.
The first round of the 2016 Kelly Cup playoffs will get under way the week of April 11th with first-round pairings yet to be determined. All series will be a best-of-seven format.
The Komets will return home for a weekend double-header. Indy visits Saturday for a 7:30pm faceoff. The Komets will face Evansville Sunday at 5pm.