The Komets came into Thursday night desperate to win their final 10 regular-season games and try to overtake the Muskegon Lumberjacks.
Playing with plenty of urgency, the Komets defeated the last-place Dayton Gems 6-2 and pulled to within six points of Muskegon.
Fort Wayne has nine games left. Muskegon has eight.
"We see the end of the tunnel and we've been scoreboard watching," said Komets forward Matt Syroczynski, who scored along with Leo Thomas, Justin Chwedoruk, David Hukalo, Brandon Warner and P.C. Drouin.
"And we saw Muskegon lost to Dayton in overtime (Wednesday). We believe we can go for first and will continue to. Until they tell us we can't, we're going to go for it."
The Komets made sure not to take Dayton lightly.
"The thing about Dayton is they come to play every night," Syroczynski said. "They work really hard. They're a little short-handed in the skill, but if you don't match their work ethic, you're going to lose."
The question is: Can the Komets keep up this intensity down the stretch, through six home games and three road games?
"I don't think (it'll be a problem)," Warner said. "It definitely helps that we won't have to travel a lot and having the crowd here, that always helps. Even if you're tired, the energy in the building helps to drive you through it."