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Komets

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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Komets goalie Nick Boucher holds up the IHL Turner Cup on Saturday at Memorial Coliseum. Boucher plans on playing in Australia during the summer.
Komets notebook

Boucher to tend goal Down Under

Now that goaltender Nick Boucher has backstopped the Komets to three straight Turner Cup Championships, he’s going Down Under.

While his teammates will spend the summer recuperating from injuries, working offseason jobs and finding places to play hockey in 2010-11, Boucher will be in net for a team in Sydney, Australia.

He will play for the Bears, part of the seven-team Australian Ice Hockey League, which plays a 24-game schedule.

“It runs in their wintertime, which is summer for us,” said Boucher, who went 6-3 with a 2.62 goals-against average, a .915 save percentage and a shutout in the postseason. “It’s an amateur league, but they take it quite seriously. They can have six import players and dress four. They don’t have a ton of money down there.”

If the Komets are able to re-sign Boucher next season – they have no players under contract yet, though coach Al Sims is – then Boucher would have about six weeks between the end of the Australian season and the start of training camp.

“I’ve got stuff going on off the ice and want to get away,” Boucher said. “It’ll be a great chance for me. I have relatives there and I will get to see a part of the world I’ve never been to.”

Dupuis’ future is uncertain

He’s 40 now, and the gray in the hair betrays him. No one has played more games in the orange-and-black of the Komets. If you want to be insulting, you can call him the Grand Old Man of the franchise.

But call it quits?

In the first minutes after a third straight Turner Cup title Saturday, Guy Dupuis wasn’t quite ready to say that.

“Oh … I don’t know,” he said when asked if the 3-2 victory over Flint was his last game. “It’s so much fun winning championships, and it’s so much fun playing as a team and to be able to come up and win another championship.

“I’ll have to rest, three, four weeks, a month or two. Then we’ll figure out.”

Captain defers

It was, certainly, a break with tradition, which says the first man to skate with the Cup is the team captain.

But Dupuis broke with it anyway, giving the honors to forward P.C. Drouin, who missed the Turner Cup Finals last year with a broken arm.

“It was Guy’s idea,” Drouin said. “He told me he wanted me to carry it first. So it was a really nice gesture, and I think it had something to do with last year, yeah.”

Powerful power play

The Komets’ power play was none too powerful against the Generals during the regular season.

In 12 meetings, the Komets were a feeble 2 for 27 with the extra skater.

And in the Finals? Try 9 for 21, which went a long way toward turning a lockdown defensive series in their favor.

“It was huge, because five-on-five, both teams weren’t giving very much, and the goaltending was good,” Sims said. “So really our power play ended up being the difference in the series.”

It was, he said, a flip-flop from the regular season, when it was the Komets’ penalty kill that led the way.

“You hope your power play scores, and you hope your penalty killing stops them, but we were the complete opposite of the season,” Sims said. “You just never know in the playoffs how it’s gonna go.”

jcohn@jg.net

bensmith@jg.net

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