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Komets

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Down 2 games, Komets see the light

So now what?

Now you strand the guy somewhere.

Mars sounds good.

Mars or Jupiter’s moons or, how about this: You frame him for insider trading. Jaywalking. Armed robbery, considering A) he’s armed (with a goalie stick and a vacuum cleaner of a glove), and B) he’s stealing the Turner Conference finals right now.

Put the APB out: Charlie Effinger, goaltender, Missouri Mavericks. Two games, 82 shots faced, five goals against – and a two-games-to-none lead in the best-of-seven heading west to Independence, Mo., Harry Truman’s hometown and the birthplace of a new riff on one of Truman’s signature quotes.

The Puck Stops Here.

“Guy’s got a horseshoe,” groused Colin Chaulk on Saturday night, at the end of Mavs 6, Komets 3.

“We’ve just got to get in front of his eyes,” Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock said. “I don’t care how good he is, he can’t stop what he can’t see.”

What he can see, though, he’s stopped, at least so far. Nothing reveals home truths like the playoffs, and the home truth being revealed here is a team with a hot goalie can ride him a long way. And so far, the Mavs are the team with the hot goalie.

They got outshot 40-27 in Game 1 including 13-1 in the third period – but the one was a game-tying penalty shot with 19 seconds to play that never should have been called, but which sent the game to overtime, where Missouri won it.

And Saturday?

At one point, late in the second period, the Komets were outshooting Missouri 35-10. And still trailed 3-1, thanks to a goal five minutes in, and another from the dasher boards six-and-a-half minutes later that prompted Komets coach Al Sims to yank Nick Boucher and send out Gerry Festa for the duration.

Festa stopped 13 of 16 shots but got beat high a couple of times, the second coming off the stick of Brandon Smith with 2:02 to play. That made it 5-3, killed an inspired Komets comeback from 4-1 down, and turned a hole into a chasm.

So after two games, the Komets have outshot Missouri 82-51, and trail 2-0. And precisely because of the former, aren’t talking like a team facing the latter.

“Sure, it’s frustrating,” Schrock said. “I know it hasn’t gone our way the first two games but we just got to be relentless and keep going after it and good things are gonna happen. That’s all we can. We feel confident the way we’ve been playing, really.”

And Chaulk?

When it was done Saturday he sat in his corner stall a few feet from Boucher, and said, look, no worries. Yes, Missouri has the hot goalie right now, but the Komets have the hotter one over time. And time hasn’t run out yet.

“We’ve got the best money goalie in the league,” Chaulk said. “I’ve seen him do it time and time again. He’s gonna do it again.

“I’m not frustrated at all, to be honest with ya. Not one bit. We’re dominating that team and we’re gonna continue dominating that team. Every bad thing comes to an end; every good thing comes to an end. There’s an up and down and middle in every experience in life, and I believe they’re about the middle right now, and they’re gonna come crashing down. And we’re just starting flying.”

Sorry, Charlie.

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