The Fort Wayne Komets are now one win away from taking home the coveted Kelly Cup after defeating the South Carolina Stingrays by a final score of 6-4 on home ice. Despite 10 goals being scored, it was Komets backstop Dylan Ferguson who would make 45 saves in the win, including 20 in the second period, which is tied for third in a Riley/Kelly Cup finals game. Ferguson is the only player on either roster who is currently signed to an NHL contract. He’s currently on a deal with the Vegas Golden Knights.
Ferguson And Komets Are One Win Away From Hoisting The Kelly Cup
The opening period saw lots of back-and-forth play, with South Carolina breaking open the scoring, as winger Dan Desalvo would net his fourth of the playoffs, beating Dylan Ferguson to put his team up 1-0 early. Fort Wayne wasn’t behind for long, as five minutes later, the Komets knotted the contest at one, with Stephen Harper banking a shot in on the power play. Finding its way by Hunter Shepard, the goal was assisted from the slot by A.J. Jenks.
It wouldn’t take long for them to take the lead, as Anthony Nellis would find a juicy rebound and make no mistake, putting the Komets up on the Stingrays 2-1. Later in the period, South Carolina received a golden opportunity, being awarded a five-on-three for a full two minutes, in which they would convert, as DeSalvo scored his second of the frame and on the power play. This would once again knot the game at two apiece. However, as one might expect, that wouldn’t be the last goal, as Shawn Szydlowski would get a chance in alone on Shepard, once again reclaiming the lead the Komets.
Onwards to the second period, South Carolina controlled majority of the play, firing 20 shots on goal. However, seeing a chance at the 10:32 mark, Fort Wayne pounced on the opportunity, as Brandon Hawkins wired a laser from the slot for his fourth of the series to give his team a two-goal lead. It was also his sixth of the playoffs. Handed another advantage in the frame’s final minute, Fort Wayne, on a three-on-one, would see another potential opportunity, but Hunter Shepard kept things intact through 40 minutes.
When you don’t get many chances, you have to take advantage of the ones you do get, and with their first shot of the final frame, Matthew Boudens kept the Komets flow going, putting his team up 4-1, extending Fort Wayne’s lead to three goals. That didn’t discourage the Stingrays, as Andrew Cherniwchan fed forward Caleb Herbert, who’d score his third of the finals, which would shorten the deficit. It was Herbert’s third goal in three days after failing to net one in the opening two rounds.
With this one far from over, Shawn Szydlowski would send a laser through traffic, finding a path in past Shepard for his second of the night. This would give Fort Wayne their largest lead of the contest. At the 15:54 mark, tensions started to boil, as Tyler Nanne threw a hit on Blake Siebenaler, which prompted winger Luke Boka to protect his teammate and fight Nanne. That saw him get charged two minutes for roughing, five for fighting, and a misconduct for continuing an altercation. As play resumed, Mark Cooper added one more before the final horn, which led the Komets to a 6-4 victory.
Fort Wayne can win the Cup Friday night on home ice , with puck drop scheduled for 8:00pmET. As always, all games are available for viewing and can be streamed with subscriptions using FloSports online.