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  • Giving thanks for practice
      The Komets spend a lot of time practicing shootouts, which isn’t surprising given their 8-8 record in them in their first two seasons in the ECHL.
  • Komets forward makes it look easy
    In the Komets’ last game, a 3-1 loss to the Greenville Road Warriors at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, forward Eric Faille had one of the easier goals you’ll see at a professional hockey game.
  • Ks cough up puck, game to Greenville
    For the first time this season, the Komets aren’t on top of the Eastern Conference standings. Losing three of five games will do that to a team.
CHL Playoffs
Turner Conference
Series tied at 2
Game 1: Rapid City 5, Komets 2
Game 2: Rapid City 4, Komets 3
Game 3: Komets 5, Rapid City 4, OT
Game 4: Komets 4, Rapid City 1
Game 5: at Rapid City, 8:05 p.m. today
Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
The Komets’ Tab Lardner, left, and Rapid City’s Gio Flamminio battle for position during a Turner Conference semifinals game.

Komets’ season is on the line

K’s look to put cap on comeback

The Komets know about staving off elimination – they’ve done it eight times since 2008 – but the decisive game of a series is a different animal.

The Komets and Rapid City Rush will be in such a game at 8:05 p.m. today at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center – Game 5 of the best-of-five Turner Conference semifinals.

“We know it’ll be war out there. We know it will be a battle,” said goaltender Kevin Reiter, who stopped 69 of 74 shots in leading the Komets to a 5-4 overtime victory in Game 3 on Wednesday and a 4-1 victory in Game 4 on Friday at Memorial Coliseum. “We don’t want to think too much; we just want to pick up where we left off. We want to keep playing the way we’re playing. We’ve got the momentum. We’ve won the last two. We’re confident we can win in that building. We should have won Game 2, to be honest with you, and I like our chances.”

The Komets have been in this position many times. They won Game 7s against Rockford in the 2005 UHL semifinals and Port Huron in the 2008 IHL finals and 2010 IHL semifinals.

This is a Fort Wayne franchise that won three straight IHL titles before joining the CHL, and based on the last two games, the Komets don’t want the run to end.

“We’ve got to prepare just exactly the way we have been,” Komets defenseman Frankie DeAngelis said. “Everyone is on the same page now. We know what’s at stake. We had that feeling Wednesday that we don’t want this to be our last game, so we don’t want that feeling again. We’re going to be ready to do whatever it takes.”

But the Rush is the reigning CHL champion. It has won four straight series. And that included a 7-3 victory in Game 7 of the conference finals last year against Bossier-Shreveport.

“There’s nothing to be said now,” Rush coach Joe Ferras said. “It’s Game 5, and it’s all on the line now. (The Komets) did what they had to do at home. We did what we had to do at home.

“Now let’s see what we’re made of.”

Colorado, which completed its 3-1 series victory over Missouri on Thursday, awaits the winner of this series.

The Rush is hoping for a capacity crowd of 5,119, but the game is on Easter.

“They’re not going to go down easy,” DeAngelis said. “It’s going to be a great game. We’re going to try and get the crowd out of it at the beginning – we’ve got to have a great start – and we’ve just got to play our game and not worry too much about what they’re doing.”