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Clint Keller/The Journal Gazette
The Komets' Matt Syroczynski scored the first goal of the game, and the Komets went on to defeat the Dayton Gems 7-4 on Friday night.

Hopes of 1st fade despite win, record-setting rally

The Komets' hopes of winning a regular-season championship may be fading, but they're focusing on heading into the postseason with momentum.

Their 7-4 victory over the Dayton Gems will be remembered for the numerous beautiful goals, including a record-setting three-goal surge that took only 39 seconds in the third period. The previous best for three goals by the Komets was 45 seconds, set back in 1962, in an 8-6 victory over Sudbury.

"I was just glad we got well ahead of them, because they're a dangerous team," Komets coach Al Sims said. "You know, those (quick) three goals we had put it out of reach for them and were huge for us. Any time we can score seven, it's a big deal."

It was only the third time this season the Komets had scored so many goals. However, they allowed the final three goals of the game to Dayton, after the defense became porous, and the Komets felt they let down goaltender Nick Boucher, who stopped 25 of 29 shots.

While the win was fun for the 7,747 fans at Memorial Coliseum, they were all too aware of what was going on at Bloomington, Ill., where the PrairieThunder twice squandered leads and lost to Muskegon 6-4. The Lumberjacks can clinch the regular-season championship with a victory Saturday over Flint, coupled with a Fort Wayne loss at Dayton in regulation time.

As for P.C. Drouin's penalty shot goal, it was the first one by a Fort Wayne player since Mathieu Curadeau on Feb. 2, 2008.

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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