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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Fort Wayne’s Jesse Bennefield is tripped up by Texas’ Alex Curran in the first period Wednesday at Memorial Coliseum.
Texas 5, Komets 4, SO

Comeback eases sting for Komets

Rally in 3rd to force OT, then fall in shootout

– There were some negatives for the Komets. Namely, they took bad penalties and gave up two power-play goals, one with a delayed penalty coming, to a Texas Brahmas team that supposedly had a poor power play.

And, worst of all, the Komets lost 5-4 in an overtime shootout in front of 7,269 fans at Memorial Coliseum.

But the Komets weren’t thinking much about the negatives Wednesday night, not after they scored twice in the final 3:48 to force overtime, peppered the Brahmas with 48 shots and got a point.

“This was a great character point for us, and we’ve got to take a lot of positives out of this,” said left wing Bobby Chaumont, who got the comeback started with a short-handed goal.

Chaumont was cherry-picking and it paid off, as defenseman Frankie DeAngelis’ long pass sprung him for a breakaway goal as he put the puck just underneath the crossbar.

“We call plays when we’re short-handed like that and we need a goal,” said coach Al Sims, whose Komets (15-7-1) have a three-point lead in the Turner Conference. “They executed it perfectly. You’ve got to take a risk if you’re going to tie the game. If we just sit back and kill the penalty, it’s not going to help us. We had to score a goal and Bobby came up with it.”

Defenseman Jamie Milam forced overtime with a slap shot from 45 feet out at 17:58.

“We didn’t have the best second period that we can play, getting (outscored 3-1),” Milam said. “The adjustments we made were subtle, just going back to what we were doing in the first period. Once we got down two goals, everyone just started with pressure, pressure, pressure and we got rolling a little bit. Once we got that short-handed goal, we thought we were back.”

The Komets outshot the Brahmas 5-2 in the 4-on-4 overtime but also had to kill off a penalty for tripping against defenseman Brent Henley, as the teams played at a frenetic, hard-hitting pace.

In the shootout, Texas got goals from forwards Jordan Kary, Phil Fox and T.J. Fox. Fort Wayne’s lone tally came from forward Jesse Bennefield.

Texas goaltender Steve Silverthorn stopped 44 shots and 3 of 4 shootout attempts. Fort Wayne’s Nick Boucher stopped 23 of 27 shots and only one in the shootout.

The Komets opened the scoring early in the second period on defenseman Bryant Molle’s first professional goal, which came off a rebound. But the Brahmas (13-8-5) got power-play goals from forwards Chad Woollard and Kary.

With a delayed penalty coming to Komets center Brett Smith, the Brahmas had plenty of time to set up a goal by defenseman Jim Burichin for a 3-1 lead at 17:07 of the second, and he added another after Leo Thomas scored for Fort Wayne in the third.

Texas, the CHL’s top-ranked defensive team, ranked 13th among the CHL’s 14 teams on the power play with efficiency of 12.1 percent. The Komets, who had the top-rated offense, ranked eighth at killing penalties with 81 percent efficiency.

Note: Forward Chris Auger, who was concussed on an elbow from Evansville’s Karl Linden on Saturday, was placed on 10-day injured reserve. But defenseman Dustin Molle came off IR from his groin injury and played.

jcohn@jg.net

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