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Key matchup


Komets forward Matt Syroczynski vs. Generals goalie Rob Nolan

How do you deal with an acrobatic goaltender, who seems to see every puck coming his way?

How do you score against a rookie so good that he’s stopped 91.2 percent of the shots in the regular season and 93.9 percent in the playoffs?

You get in his face.

Rob Nolan’s season has been fantastic, and one could argue he’s the biggest reason the Generals, whose hopes of making the playoffs seemed laughable in January, are now in the Turner Cup Finals.

During the regular season, Nolan was 4-3-1 against the two-time defending-champion Komets, with a 2.02 goals-against average, .941 save percentage and one shutout.

The Komets cannot let him get comfortable, and the best way to manage that will be getting traffic in front of the net.

The best person for that job is Matt Syroczynski, the Komets’ biggest forward at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, who thrives on getting garbage goals.

It helps Syroczynski’s cause that he has two of the finest shooters in the IHL – Colin Chaulk and Justin Hodgman – as linemates.

With Syroczynski battling in front, and the Generals lacking a big defensemen to deal with him, Nolan is sure to face plenty of screens and shots from the Komets’ No. 1 line.

If Syroczynski can cause enough problems in front of the net, the Komets might be able to overcome Nolan’s quick reflexes in the best-of-seven series.

If Nolan can see things perfectly, as Muskegon already found out, the Generals could surprise the Komets and skate off with the Turner Cup.

– Justin A. Cohn, The Journal Gazette