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K's still hope 3 players can debut Friday

The Komets haven't been able to use forward Stephon Thorne, goaltender Kevin Beech or defenseman Jamie Lovell because their immigration work papers haven't been approved by the U.S. government.

The Komets are still hoping that they could be in the lineup Friday against Rapid City.

"We are trying to get a hold of the people in the Vermont processing center," general manager David Franke said, "to see if we can speed this up."

The holdup on Thorne and Beech has been because another player who was in training camp with them, Frederic Korduner, who has since been released, had his visa red-flagged because he was given the wrong immigration status, Franke said.

Thorne and Beech were on the same petition.

The Komets are most concerned with Beech because they have four games in five nights starting Friday, and they don't want Nick Boucher to have to play every game.

If he's unable to be in the lineup, Tyler Sims will continue as the backup.

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