In the end, the Fort Wayne Komets turned the page on 2010 in a fashion to which they've become far too familiar – by getting the book closed on them by another Central Hockey League opponent.
In a back-and-forth scorefest Friday in which the Komets blew two early leads, they lost to the Quad City Mallards in overtime, 6-5, in front of 10,059 on New Year's Eve at Memorial Coliseum.
Paul Kelly got the winner for Quad City with 2:38 to play in overtime, beating Komets goalie Nick Boucher from the left wing on a 3-on-1 breakout.
The loss extinguished an end-of-the-year 3-0-1 streak for the Komets. In their last five games, they've scored 21 goals.
"We're just struggling to put a full 60 together," said defenseman Brandon Warner, who scored two goals for the Komets. "It's little lapses here and there. It's not big, huge mistakes, it's just little things that turn into big things in the end.
"But you know, we're getting better. We're getting there. We're scoring goals now, everybody's playing well and we're taking the body. We're getting plenty of opportunities."
The Komets jumped ahead 2-0 in the first on goals by Mathieu Curadeau off an airborne deflection at 5:42 and Warner on a slick deflection that beat Quad City goaltender David Brown to his glove side at 9:52. A bit more than 11 minutes into it, the Komets had outshot Quad City 8-1.
But the Mallards didn't stay dead, beating Komets starting goalie Kevin Reiter twice within 18 seconds to even it at 2-all at the 12:05 mark of the period.
The Komets regained the lead at 17:45, Frankie DeAngelis shoveling a point-blank backhand past Brown with the Komets skating 5-on-3 thanks to nearly simultaneous slashing penalties on Quad City's Zac Pearson and Eric Giosa.
Quad City tied it again just 27 seconds into the second period, Zac Pearson snapping off a wrist shot that Reiter could only flail at with the glove. It was his last act of the night, as Komets coach Al Sims pulled Reiter at that point and inserted Boucher.
Goals by Giosa and Jake Riddle followed, and Quad City – outshot 17-7 in the second period and 32-15 through two – took a 5-4 lead into the final period. The Komets' only goal of a period they again dominated came from Warner, who beat Brown from in front at 15:04 with the Komets skating a man up.
The Mallards' lead, like most of the leads this night, didn't last long. Just 48 seconds into the third period, Tab Lardner tied again for the Komets at 5.
"We should have had at least 7, 8 goals," Warner said. "It was just one of those things where little things here and there just added up to be the game.
"But I finally got myself going tonight, and getting (scoring) from all over the board. That's the good thing to see is we're getting all three lines contributing."