Here's a look at the top five games, and top five moments, of the Komets' championship season, chosen by me.
What do you think?
5) May 12, 2010: After the Komets won the first two boring games of the Turner Cup Finals, Fort Wayne and Flint played a gripping, back-and-forth, offensively-charged game. The Komets lost 7-6 in overtime, thanks to a Jamie Schaafsma goal, but even Fort Wayne fans could appreciate the drama of this tilt at Perani Arena.
4) May 14, 2010: Coach Al Sims shocked seemingly everyone by going with goaltender Tim Haun, instead of Nick Boucher, on the heels of the 7-6 overtime loss. Haun stopped 33 shots, the Komets won 6-2 and a 3-1 series lead put the Turner Cup within Fort Wayne's grasp once again.
3) Oct. 31, 2009: Fans of old-school hockey loved this 3-1 Komets victory over Muskegon, which included 115 penalty minutes, and a brawl that saw Fort Wayne's Brad MacMillan leave the penalty box and toss a linesman to get at Jason Lawmaster, who had pummeled Konstantin Shafranov. Muskegon's Robin Big Snake also left the penalty box. MacMillan was suspended 15 games by the IHL. Big Snake got 12 games.
2) May 3, 2010: After recovering from a 3-1 series deficit, Fort Wayne dominated Game 7 of the semifinals with a 4-0 victory over Port Huron. The Komets got three goals in the first 5:11 from Guy Dupuis, Leo Thomas and Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock, and Nick Boucher made 33 saves.
1) May 15, 2010: With a sellout crowd of 10,480 at the Coliseum, the Komets captured their third straight Turner Cup championship with a 3-2 victory over the Flint Generals. Left wing P.C. Drouin had two goals and left wing Matt Syroczynski, who had one goal, was selected as Playoff MVP.
5) April 11, 2010: After a moving pregame ceremony in which Konstantin Shafranov was honored before leaving to play for Kazakhstan in the World Championships, the 41 year old showed, in what was probably his final North America game, why fans love him so. Thirteen seconds into the game, Shafranov sent a dazzling backhand pass through a sea of players to set up a Matt Syroczynski goal. He had two assists in the 8-4 victory over Quad City.
4) Dec. 12, 2009: Late in a 2-0 loss at Port Huron, Fort Wayne goaltender Tim Haun lost his cool and took a baseball-like swing of his stick at Derek Patrosso. That set off a melee that included a fight between the goalies, and Haun got a seven-game suspension. It also set the tone for a great rivalry this season.
3) May 15, 2010: Left wing P.C. Drouin faked a shot from the left circle, then flicked a wrist shot past goaltender Rob Nolan. It put the Komets up by three goals in Game 5 of the Finals and proved to be the Cup-clinching goal in a 3-2 victory over Flint.
2) May 1, 2010: It was Game 6 of the semifinals, and the Komets thought they had it won and were headed to Game 7, but then Port Huron's Mike Kinnie tied the game with 4:13 remaining. Just as all 1,729 fans at McMorran Arena were readying for overtime, defenseman Kevin Bertram threw the puck toward the net and center Leo Thomas redirected it in to make it 4-3 with only 2.1 seconds remaining.
1) April 30, 2010: Down 3-1 in the best-of-seven semifinals, and trailing Port Huron 2-0 on the scoreboard, goaltender Nick Boucher foiled Derek Patrosso on a breakaway to save the Komets' season.
- In case you missed the game story from Saturday, a sure collector's item, click here, and it includes several interviews.
- Click here to read Ben Smith's column.
- Cathie Rowand has lots of great photos: Click here.
- What's next for Flint's players? Click here.
- The Flint Journal's game story: Click here.
- A column out of Flint: Click here.
- Don't forget, there will be more in Monday's newspaper and special issue commemorating the Komets' championship Tuesday, so buy the newspaper.