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The one that got away

Well, that was startling, to say the least.

For almost 52 minutes the Komets were so serenely in command of the Dayton Gems tonight I was, I confess to say, already composing my game story. Something about Nick Boucher’s first shutout of the season.

Boy, did that one get flushed in a hurry.

First Jonathan Ornelas beat Boucher off the post from high between the circles, then Mike Vaskivuo scored on a 2-on-1 break less than two minutes later, and, boom, the 1-0 win was suddenly a 2-1 loss. Not the best way to start February.

When it was over, Komets coach Al Sims was bemoaning, with more than a little justification, all the open nets the Komets missed. At one point, in fact, he picked up his game sheet and simply ticked them off one by one: “Leo … Guy … Syroczynski … empty-net miss by Guy and P.C. …”

No one, he said, missed more chances than the usually reliable Matt Syroczynski.

“I don’t know how many times Syroczynski missed the net coming in on clear chances,” Sims said. “There’s just no excuse for him to get 10, 12 attempts and not get a goal. It’s just not acceptable for our team.”

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at