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Komets

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Brawl caps K’s win

There will almost certainly be suspensions. There will definitely be renewed hatred if these teams meet in the CHL playoffs.

And there will be a lot of talk about this game for a long time.

The Komets won a wild back-and-forth game 5-4 against the Wichita Thunder on Saturday night, thanks to left wing P.C. Drouin’s shot from 25 feet out, after he skated in against left wing A.J. Gale at 3:08 of the third period. It was a nifty response to four goals by defenseman Andrew Martens, but it wasn’t the most memorable part of the game.

That came with 2.3 seconds remaining and Wichita’s 28-goal scorer, Matt Robinson, getting a penalty shot because Fort Wayne defenseman Bobby Phillips had covered the puck in his goal crease to negate a scoring chance.

On the penalty shot, goaltender Nick Boucher came out to poke the puck away from Robinson, who never got a shot, ensuring the second straight 5-4 victory for the Komets over the Thunder in as many nights.

“That was just an instinctual kind of poke check,” said Boucher, who made 31 saves.

As the 10,011 fans at Memorial Coliseum celebrated, so did the Komets. That incited the Thunder’s anger, setting off fights between Phillips and Lance Galbraith and Craig Cescon and Daniel Tetrault.

Wichita goaltender Marty Magers, who made 24 saves, charged down the ice to try to get at Boucher, throwing a linesman to the ice along the way, and was ejected as Boucher made an obscene gesture in his direction.

“Since his time in Port Huron (in 2007-08), he just enjoys in warm-ups yapping at me,” Boucher said of Magers. “He just yaps and yaps at me. He shot a puck at me and hit me in the back in warm-ups. He shot a puck at me after the first period. He should really worry more about stopping the puck than trying to fight because look at his numbers; he’s struggling (with a 3.49 goals-against average and .875 save percentage).”

After things cooled down, Fort Wayne coach Al Sims pulled Boucher from the game, but things heated up again. On the ensuing faceoff, Fort Wayne’s Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock was jawing with Jason Goulet before Wichita’s Robin Richards jumped Schrock, setting off an eight-player melee that brought 93 penalty minutes and took referee Jon McIsaac more than eight minutes to sort out.

The feeling in the Fort Wayne locker room was that Goulet could face a suspension for pummeling Dustin Molle, while officials tried to break it up. Boucher could face discipline for the gesture, Schrock for being overly physical with a linesman, and Magers for doing the same. There could be others, too.

“I was looking for Steve Fletcher because I thought we were back in the early-1990s,” Sims said. “But we didn’t have No. 77 on the bench. I thought Cescon did great in both his fights tonight. All the guys who stood up at the end of did great. Richards is one of the toughest guys in the league and he jumped Kaleigh. They’re all going to get suspended, I’m sure, but when you’ve got 10,000 people in the building, you can’t write a better script to a game.”

jcohn@jg.net

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