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Komets hang on

I'll take Justin Chwedoruk's judgment on the evening, when it's all said and done.

"A win's a win," he said, after the Komets slipped by Flint 6-5 in the most uncharacterstic of games: A scorefest that actually came out their way.

It wasn't easy. Flint outshot them 16-6 in the final period, trimmed their cushy three-goal lead to a jittery one-goal lead, and skated the last 1:27 with an extra man when they pulled goalie Rob Nolan. But the Komets hung on.

A couple of morsels to chew on:

* You could almost hear the sigh of relief from Chwedoruk's locker after his two-goal night -- almost a hat-trick night, because he initially was credited with Kaleigh Schrock's second-period goal. A 24-goal scorer with Quad City in 2006-07, he had just seven goals in 41 games going into Saturday.

"I'm in ... well, not a bit of a slump, it's the biggest slump I've ever gone on," Chwedoruk said. "So it was nice to get a couple. I've been getting a lot of chances and they're just not going in. So it was nice to get a couple to go in the net, and hopefully I can keep that going."

* Komets coach Al Sims was a conflicted man Saturday.

On the one hand, he was happy with the fourth-straight win and the fact that the Komets have now caught Port Huron for second, and made up ground on Muskegon as well. On the other, winning games 6-5 is not his idea of a recipe for consistent success.

"We need to start shutting teams down at home like we have on the road or we're not gonna have much success," he said.

* By the way: Sims predicts a 3-2 victory for Canada over the U.S. in the gold-medal Olympic hockey game tonight. That was the only specific prediction anyone was willing to make in a quick postgame poll of the Komets dressing room.

Matt Syroczynski, American, thinks the Americans will win, of course. Kevin Bertram, Canadian, thinks Canada will.

"Got to go with the home team," he said.

And then: "No, really. I just hope it's as good a game as the first one."

So do I. And, head over heart, I'm picking Canada, 4-2.

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 jcohn@jg.net.

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