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500 fans expected to make trip

NORMAL, Ill. -- The Bloomington Pantagraph is reporting that about 500 Fort Wayne fans are expected to be in the building for Game 1 tonight between the Komets and the PrairieThunder.

Click here to read.

The newspaper is also working the Keith Rodger angle, not surprisingly. Click here.

It ought to be a very good game tonight. Still, I must admit, it feels weird to already be in the playoffs. This shorter season makes it feel early because it is early.

I have already written about some players who will be key in the series, but here's another one: Mathieu Curadeau. He hasn't had a particularly good season. But when he's on -- using his emotions, hitting people -- he can be a dominating player at this level. We haven't seen it yet, but he tends to be good in huge games. This would be a great time for him to salvage his season. And because he's been playing wing, he becomes very valuable. When he's on the ice, the Komets' center can go in aggressively on faceoffs and if he gets tossed, Curadeau can step in to take the draw.

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