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Linda Leslie -- Courtesy photo
Les Reaney of the Rapid City Rush finishes off his hit from behind on the Komes' David Starenky in Game 3 of the Turner Conference semifinals

K's 3-1 win sets up thriller in Game 4

Well, I think it's safe to say the Komets and Rapid City Rush do not like one another.

After Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock netted an empty-netter to cement the Komets' 3-1 victory Wednesday night, he was upended by Konrad Reeder. Some have already argued in the concourse that Reeder didn't do it on purpose. I guess I don't see it that way. He had plenty of time to alter course. (I'll have video up of it later.)

That set off a nine-player melee and we'll have to see if Schrock is OK for Game 4 on Thursday at the Coliseum. Regardless, things have heated up in the best-of-seven Turner Conference semifinals, led 2-1 by the Komets.

The second-period hit by Les Reaney -- isn't he always at the center of trouble? -- was brutal.

He crushed David Starenky from behind and in the back of the head. It's sad when everyone is saying, "At least they gave him a minor," in light of Jeff Kyrzakos getting nothing for a similar hit on Brett Smith in Game 1.

If the CHL doesn't dole out more punishment for the Reaney hit, I will start believing the conspiracy theorists who think the CHL just has it in for Fort Wayne. I don't see how any objective party could not believe that hit wasn't worth more than a two-minute penalty. (The photo of the hit comes courtesy of Linda Leslie.)

The Komets' goals came from Brett Smith, who amazingly juggled the puck three times before blasting it past Tim Boron, Mike Vaskivuo and Schrock.

Vaskivuo, you will recall, was waived by the Rush and has three goals and 12 points in nine games since.

The only time the Rush beat goaltender Nick Boucher, it was after the puck caromed wildly off the boards -- the play was barely onside -- and it gave Colin Circelli an empty net at which to shoot. It was going to take something wacky to beat Boucher with the way he's been playing, but it was more impressive how he came back.

Did you notice how many times the Komets blocked shots in this game? They really are sacrificing.

OK, I'll get to work on the video.

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