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Ice Chips

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Hitting? There's no hitting in hockey.

I counted five -- FIVE -- legitimate body checks in the first period of the Komets' game against the Dayton Gems.

For both teams.

Is that sad or what?

The Gems lead 1-0 on a Jonathan Ornelas goal, which came on an odd-man rush, after Fort Wayne peppered Larry Sterling with a flurry of shots. Dayton, however, had tallied the first seven shots of this game.

Fort Wayne is playing without forward Chris Auger, who was placed on injured reserve with concussion symptoms stemming from a broken nose he suffered last week. (And, of course, the concussion he had from Karl Linden's elbow.)

Goaltender Gerry Festa will probably make his first start with the Komets on Sunday, when Fort Wayne and Dayton play their third game in as many days.

As for goalie Alex Kangas, who reinjured the hip that hindered him in college, the Komets still don't know. He was getting tests today. But from the way it sounds, coupled with the acquisition of Festa, I wouldn't expect him back this season.

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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