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K's victorious over IceMen

During the second intermission, Komets coach Al Sims told his players, "There are lots of goals in this room and we can get this done."

Finally, the Komets did score some goals. And finally, they did win.

A 4-3 victory over the Evansville IceMen, in a game dominated by special-teams action, was Fort Wayne's first in three games at home and it brought its overall record to 2-3-1 in the Komets' first Central Hockey League season.

"It's nice to win one at home and finally give the fans something to kind of be excited about," right wing Derek Patrosso said. "We can't let ourselves think we played well, though. We still have a long way to go."

The Komets trailed by one heading into the final period, but what began as a messy power play finished in beautiful fashion with right wing Sean O'Connor sending a pass to left wing P.C. Drouin at the point. He blasted the puck through a crowd and into the top of the net, tying it at 3 at 6:42.

The Komets drew a two-minute 5-on-3 advantage at 8:22 – Joe Grimaldi got a cross-checking penalty and Nick Lindberg a tripping call – and Fort Wayne's third shot on the power play resulted in a goal. Center Mathieu Curadeau, just off the left goalpost, chipped a short pass to Patrosso, who one-timed it in for a 4-3 lead.

"It's good to get a win at home and good to score four goals," said Sims, whose team came into the night having been outscored 15-5. "It was probably the hardest way possible to win at the end, but maybe that's what we needed – to be tested."

The Komets were short-handed for 5:48 of the final 8:25. Goaltender Nick Boucher, who stopped 19 shots, saved the game by foiling center Damien Surma's one-timer from the right circle at the 14:24 mark.

And with 17 seconds remaining, and Evansville having pulled its goalie for a 6-on-4 advantage, Grimaldi's shot from just inside the blue line ricocheted off the right and then left posts to seal the IceMen's fate.

"We've got to get a little more disciplined there at the end, but hat's off to the guys who killed the penalties. That was unbelievable," said Patrosso, who scored twice in front of 9,213 fans.

Fort Wayne scored on 3 of 9 power plays. Evansville was 2 for 7.

It took 124 minutes, 41 seconds of play at home before the Komets scored. It came from left wing Brandon Naurato, who was positioned in the slot, about 15 feet out, when he accepted a pass from O'Connor and snapped it past goaltender David Wilson, who made 37 saves.

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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