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K's trip a failure

The Komets were hoping to send a message to the rest of the league.

That message ended up being: We've got a long way to go.

In a pair of games against the Turner Conference's top two teams, viewed to be the Komets' litmus test for winning a first-round playoff series, the Komets lost 6-1 at Colorado on Friday and 3-1 at Rapid City, S.D, on Saturday night.

Center Leo Thomas scored the Komets' only goal against the Rush, when he put his own rebound into the net to tie it at 1 at 5:05 of the second period, but the Rush got goals from Brendan Hodge and Derek LeBlanc to cement the victory.

The Rush (36-21-4) is not only in second place among the CHL's 18 teams, and atop the conference, it is also the reigning league champion. The Komets (27-25-6) won the last three IHL championships before joining the CHL, but they are in eighth place in the Turner Conference.

Were the playoffs to begin today, the Komets, who have lost six of their last eight games, would face the Rush, which has outscored Fort Wayne 7-1 in two games this season.

But the Komets, who have clinched a playoff spot, still have eight games to make up ground on seventh-place Dayton, which is three points ahead of them. Sixth-place Quad City is five points ahead of the Komets.

Goaltender Nick Boucher stopped 23 of 26 shots for Fort Wayne, which plays host to Bossier-Shreveport on Wednesday at Memorial Coliseum.

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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