In Nick Boucher’s defense, he did try to get the attention of linesmen Dean Pioch and Geoff Rutherford.
They didn’t notice.
So Boucher, the Komets’ goaltender, decided he was going to use the situation to his advantage during the second period of the Komets’ 2-1 victory Monday night. The net had been knocked off its moorings, but the whistle wasn’t blown, and the Komets took the puck down ice and into the offensive zone.
Boucher leisurely pushed the net back to its appropriate spot, and it looked good from afar. If the Generals got control of the puck, which they did twice, he would push it out of the crease and await a whistle. When the Komets stole the puck back in the neutral zone, twice, Boucher put the net back in its place. It was a game of cat-and-mouse that went on for about two minutes before the linesmen finally noticed what was afoot.
I think that’s the only time I’ve done it since I’ve been in The Fort, said Boucher, whose Komets have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Turner Cup finals, which continue tonight at Perani Arena.
The play was down at the other end and we were playing pretty well in their zone, so you don’t want to just stop the play. Initially, it was Paul the Zamboni guy who was yelling at me that the net was off, because I didn’t even know. But we had a great shift and a half down in their zone. Initially, I was yelling for them to call it, but I was watching what was going on. You never want to do something that takes away a chance at getting a goal.
The Generals have been trying to get their top stay-at-home defenseman, Craig Cescon, on the ice against the Komets’ top center, Colin Chaulk. That wasn’t easy to do at Memorial Coliseum, because the Komets, as the home team, got the last line change before every face-off.
We’ve been keeping Chaulk away from Cescon for most of the series so far, Fort Wayne coach Al Sims said. But (Generals coach Jason Muzzatti) will be able to get that matchup in the next game. So Chaulk will have to play through that.
Chaulk has two goals, eight points and a plus-4 rating in nine playoff games. Cescon has one assist and a plus-4 rating in nine games.
It was fitting that Komets forward David Hukalo wound up shutting off Flint’s last attempt at a centering pass as the final seconds ticked off Monday. The forwards, as much as anyone, turned the game the Komets’ way. And they did it by taking away the Generals’ momentum in the neutral zone, much as Hukalo took away their last gasp.
We just had tremendous back pressure from our forwards, said Boucher, who had a front-row view of it all from between the pipes. We’ve been putting the heat on them to make a play.
We really try to slow them down through the neutral zone, get our D’ back quickly to pucks and get it out before they can get in, he said. We did a really good job of it, especially our forwards. They really kept them in their end for long periods of time, and that’s your best defense if you keep the puck out of your end.
Guy Dupuis may well be feeling every minute of his 39 years, as the long season winds toward its finish. But he’s not playing like it. Dupuis got another assist Monday, his fourth point of the finals after his one-goal, two-assist night in a 3-2 win in Game 1.
You can tell he’s feeling it, Sims said. As soon as he gets the puck he’s gunning it at the net.
No more than usual, Dupuis insists.
Hey, I always do the same thing, he said. Sometimes you get the bounces, sometimes you don’t. It depends on who’s in front. I’ve been fortunate the first couple games that the shots I directed toward the net ended up as goals.