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3rd period explosion in K's victory

It's amazing how one great third period can completely change your perspective.

Had the Komets lost tonight, it would have been their eighth loss in nine games, and we'd be all over them.

Instead, they scored all three goals of the third period and defeated the visiting Dayton Gems 4-2, putting Fort Wayne on a 2-0-1 streak.

"We came out and wanted to prove something to Dayton and to our fans," Komets coach Al Sims said. "We challenged them in the (locker) room between the second and third periods, and the guys came out and answered the challenge. It was a big come-from-behind win for us. … We're moving in the right direction."

Tab Lardner got things going with a wrist shot from the left circle, which went over goaltender Jeff Jakaitis' far shoulder. Seven seconds later the Komets got the winner; a faceoff was won to Sean O'Connor, who ripped a 35-foot shot into the top of the net.

P.C. Drouin added an empty net goal.

The Komets next play Wednesday against the Mississippi RiverKings. And on Friday, against Quad City, Colin Chaulk will make his return to the lineup and rookie Artem Podshendyalov should make his debut, too.

Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock, who has eight goals and has been arguably the Komets' best player, suffered a leg injury and probably won't play Wednesday.

Meanwhile, despite the output tonight, the Komets want to continue to get their scoring up. In the last nine games, they have scored 22 goals.

Fort Wayne, which has a league-worst record of 7-15-2, remains eight points back of Evansville for the eighth and final playoff spot out of the Turner Conference.

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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