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After 4-2 loss, K's must show resiliency

This is where it gets interesting.

The Komets came into Friday night as the hottest team in the Central Hockey League, having won six in a row and 16 of their last 23.

But they squandered a one-goal lead to the opportunistic Quad City Mallards and lost 4-2, in front of 7,811 fans at Memorial Coliseum.

"That's why Quad City is (26-19-1) and in the upper half of the standings," right wing Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock said. "If you let your guard down for just two minutes, they'll burn you. They sit back and wait for mistakes. They're a hard-working team. That's kind of what they did tonight. We had a one-goal lead and let up a bit … and they took advantage of it."

Now we must see what kind of resiliency the Komets have Saturday at Dayton and Sunday against visiting Evansville.

"If we lose both games, we're derailed," said coach Al Sims, whose Komets are 19-19-5. "If we don't, then we're still going in the right direction."

Schrock pointed out an early season stretch in which the Komets won three in a row, then lost seven straight.

They clearly weren't resilient then.

"A characteristic of a good team is if you find a bump in the road, you've got to get back up off the mat," said Schrock, who scored a power-play goal with 2:24 remaining to finish the scoring.

"We've got to try to get another streak going. I think we knew we weren't going to win every game the rest of the way. Early in the year, we won three in a row and just hit (a wall), and we've got to learn from that."

As for the departure of center Chris Francis, who had four goals and 17 points in 32 games, management didn't seem too happy about it, but they were giving pretty much just one-word answers.

Asked what the impact of losing Francis would be, Sims said: "None."

My take on Francis is that he has a ton of skill, but he never saw a shot he didn't like. That can be a good and a bad thing. He racked up 105 shots in 32 games. This may be for the best, though, because the Komets were going to have to make some tough roster decisions in the coming days. My sense is this enables them to keep Artem Podshendyalov, who has five goals and nine points in 17 games.

By the way, remember when we wondered if Colin Chaulk would have trouble adjusting to the Central Hockey League's style of play? In 16 games, he has five goals, 20 points, a plus-15 rating and 25 penalty minutes.

I'd say he's doing fine. Having Tab Lardner and Derek Patrosso as linemates doesn't hurt, though.

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