Penalty Trouble Dooms Eagles in 4-2 Loss in Game 3
FORT WAYNE, IN. – Fort Wayne capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play early in the third period to help push the Komets to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Eagles in Game Three on Wednesday. Eagles defenseman Jake Marto scored both of Colorado’s goals, as Fort Wayne now takes a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference Final.
Both teams created several quality scoring chances in the first period, including one power play apiece, but neither team would be able to light the lamp and the contest remained scoreless after the opening 20 minutes of play.
Fort Wayne would thwart some early chances from the Eagles to start the second period, including a breakaway from forward Julien Nantel that was sent wide of the net. The Komets would then take advantage of a Colorado turnover in the Eagles own zone to grab a 1-0 lead on a goal from the low-slot from forward Garrett Thompson with 10: 18 remaining in the middle frame.
Colorado would quickly summon an answer, as Marto would utilize some heavy traffic in front of the Fort Wayne net to bury a shot from the blue line and tie the game at 1-1 at the 12:03 mark of the period.
The Eagles would get themselves into penalty trouble late in the second stanza, leading to a 5-on-3 power play for the Komets that would carry over to start the third period of action. Fort Wayne would capitalize when forward Gabriel Desjardins belted a cross-slot pass into the back of the net to put the Komets back on top, 2-1 just 45 seconds into the period.
The advantage would grow to two goals when a 3-on-2 rush would allow forward Marc-Olivier Roy to field a centering pass in the slot and blister a shot past Eagles goaltender Joe Cannata to give Fort Wayne a 3-1 lead at the 3:23 mark of the final frame.
Colorado would pull Cannata in the final minutes of the contest and the move would produce a goal when Marto fired a shot from the high-slot that would light the lamp and pull the Eagles within a goal with just nine seconds left to play.
With Cannata still on the bench, the Komets would win the ensuing face off and Desjardins would add an empty-netter to secure Fort Wayne’s 4-2 victory.
Komets goalie Michael Houser earned the win in net, stopping 27 of Colorado’s 29 shots, while Cannata suffered the loss, allowing three goals on 25 shots. The Eagles were held 0-for-3 on the power play, while Fort Wayne scored one goal on four chances on the man-advantage.
The Eagles return to action when they take on the Komets in Game Four of the Western Conference Final on Friday, May 18th at 6:00pm MT at War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Tickets for all Eagles home playoff games are on sale now and can be purchased online at ColoradoEagles.com.