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Komets lose again

And now the hole is a chasm.

The Missouri Mavericks jumped on the Komets for an early 2-0 lead, led 4-1 early in the third period, then staved off a furious Komets charge to take Game 2 of the Turner Conference finals Saturday night, 6-3.

Brandon Smith's rising shot from the wing beat Gerry Festa high with 2:02 to play, ending a Komets' comeback that saw first Bobby Chaumont and Chris Auger score to narrow the count to 4-3 with 15 minutes to play.

But the Komets couldn't get another puck past Mavs goalie Charlie Effinger, who stopped 39 of 42 shots on the night. The series now heads west to Independence, Mo., for the next three games with Missouri leading the best-of-seven two games to none.

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