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Ice Chips

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    The Komets power play has shown some signs of life lately, but it still must be better if they want to defeat Reading in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, which begin Thursday.
  • K's hot at right time
    The Komets are one of the ECHL's hottest teams heading into the playoffs: They are 8-2-1 in their past 11 games, and they hope they are peaking at just the right time.
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K's goal looked familiar

And lots of other stuff, as we look to Game 2

In the midst of the Komets 3-2 victory over the Flint Generals, in Game 1 of the Turner Cup Finals on Saturday night, Justin Chwedoruk had an interesting goal.

Defenseman Guy Dupuis outraced an opponent to the puck and chipped it high, setting up Chwedoruk to catch the puck in mid-air, drop it to the ice and blast it past goaltender Rob Nolan.

To see the video, watch the Indiana's News Center video to the right; it's with about 3:45 remaining.

Here's the thing: Did that goal look familiar?

It was an awful lot like Justin Hodgman's triple-overtime Game 7 Cup winner from 2008. For some reason, this is the best video I could find -- click here -- so if you know of a better clip on the Web, let me know.

Here's what Dupuis had to say about Chwedoruk's goal Saturday: "We were racing for the puck and I just got there in front of the guy. It was like a 9-iron, and I chipped it over his stick. Luckily, Chewy was in front and he scored one kind of like Hodgman did in the triple overtime. He grabbed it, put it down and luckily the goalie didn't know where it was and Chewy was able to put it in."

  • One of Flint coach Jason Muzzatti's challenges in Game 2 will be figuring out how to get his stars, namely former NHL players Bryan Smolinski and Pascal Rheaume, some open ice. "I think (Komets coach Al Sims) has spent a lot of time trying to match up," Muzzatti said. "He made it challenging for me to get match-ups I wanted. .. In the end, it's up to what each team does, their systems and getting things accomplished."
  • If Game 1 proved anything at all, it's that whoever wins this series is going to have to get production from any number of places. The Komets' top line of Matt Syroczynski, Colin Chaulk and Hodgman did its part, cranking out 12 shots among them and accounting for a power-play goal by Hodgman. But with quality chances likely to be at a premium in this series, everyone's going to have to get in on the act. Enter, among others, P.C. Drouin and Sean O'Connor, who managed nine shots between them in the Komets' 3-2 victory in Game 1. "Ever since the last 30, 35 games of the year, our line (with Leo Thomas) really started peaking," said Drouin, who contributed five shots and an assist, his seventh in the last four games. "We'll still have our off nights, but they're pretty rare right now. We're playing well, we're skating hard, and we seem to be creating off the rush, and also off the cycle in the offensive zone."
  • Everyone pretty much conceded Saturday night that this will be a patient man's series. So maybe there was method to a cautious first period in Game 1. "You always want to put as much pressure on as you can at any point in the game," Hodgman said, addressing the fact that Fort Wayne and Flint combined for just 13 shots on goal in the first period. "But if it looked like we didn't get going until the second and third … the fact that we had legs in the second and third is a great thing."

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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