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Ice Chips

  • K's pregame primer
    he Komets are 33-16-4 all-time on Thanksgiving. Fort Wayne is 3-0-0 against Indianapolis, which is winless in seven road games this season.
  • K's fall to 5 in power rankings, get new player
    The Komets have signed Brett Beebe, who was in training camp with them and has been playing with Pensacola of the Southern Professional Hockey League.
  • Things to check out
    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.
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Cathie Rowand / The Journal Gazette
The Komets Bobby Chaumont checks Brahmas Jim Burichin in the second period.

Talking about Komets' PK

The Komets learned a lesson the hard way Wednesday, when they allowed the Texas Brahmas two power-play goals and one with a delayed penalty and an extra attacker on the ice.

Texas came into the game ranked 13th out of 14 teams on the power play (12.1 percent efficiency), while the Komets' penalty killers ranked eighth (81 percent).

"It wasn't really a topic of discussion coming in because they were only like 12 percent on the power play," Fort Wayne defenseman Jamie Milam said. "It was just us being lax and losing draws and not making plays. Our penalty kill has been doing great, so it's not like we're going to start doing anything different."

The Turner Conference-leading Komets salvaged a point in the standings, coming back from a two-goal third-period deficit before losing 5-4 in an overtime shootout, but they don't want to be lax again.

(Check out the video recap from Wednesday.)

Friday, the Komets play at Dayton. The Gems rank 12th on the power play (16.7 percent) efficiency heading into tonight's game against the Brahmas.

"I think our penalty killing is something we're still working on," said forward Bobby Chaumont, who scored a third-period short-handed goal Wednesday. "(The Brahmas) got a couple plays right off the draw there, so we've just got to just be better there. … We've got to just move forward and take that third period we played against Texas and take it into the game at Dayton."

The Komets (15-7-1) are on a 10-2-1 run. The Gems (10-10-4), who are coached by Fort Wayne-native Brian Gratz, have won two in a row after losing five straight.

A real positive for the Komets lately has been their ability to continue scoring without forwards Chris Auger (concussion) and Jean-Michel Rizk (knee).

Auger, who has 11 goals and 21 points in 22 games, was put on injured reserve before Wednesday's game and is expected to miss at least a week. Rizk, who has nine goals and 12 points in 15 games, has missed five in a row and won't play tonight, either.

Over the last five games, though, the Komets have scored 23 goals. The Komets lead the CHL with 3.78 goals per game. They're fourth in defense, allowing 2.78 goals per game.

"Rizk has been great for us on that third line, which has worked so hard," Chaumont said. "He provides that scoring there. We definitely miss him. And Auger, especially of late with how he's played, those are two guys that once they're back in our lineup we'll be a totally different team with a lot more offense. We can't wait to get those guys back."

After Friday's game, the Komets are off until Tuesday, when they play host to league-worst Bloomington (7-15-2).

Notes: Fort Wayne's Brett Smith has assisted on goals in four straight games. … David Starenky has a penalty minute in five straight. … Fort Wayne is 3-1-0 against Dayton.

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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