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Laura J. Gardner | The Journal Gazette
Colin Chaulk of the Komets, right, and Missouri’s Ed McGrane battle for the puck during the first period of Friday night’s game at Memorial Coliseum.
Komets notebook

Consistency is key in conference finals

The Komets were looking for consistency as they started the best-of-seven Turner Conference finals against Missouri on Friday night at Memorial Coliseum.

That was something they felt they hadn’t had in their six-game series win over the Rapid City Rush in the conference semifinals.

A perfect example of the Komets’ inconsistency was the 4-1 loss Sunday at home in Game 5, which forced them to travel 1,100 miles, each way, to finish the semifinals series 4-3 in overtime Tuesday night in South Dakota.

“If there’s anything we can take out of that series is that winning teams play the same way. What we didn’t do that series was play the same way,” Komets captain Colin Chaulk said.

“We have to play the same way, put the pressure on them, work the back of the net, have long shifts down low and make them come 200 feet. If we do that, it’s going to make things hard.”

Chaulk added it was crucial for the Komets to score first against the Mavericks, who swept Evansville in the first round, and then hang on to the leads.

The team that scored first in the Komets’ series against the Rush won every game except Game 6. The Mavericks scored first in three of their four games against the IceMen.

Defensemen must get going

The Komets were looking for more offense from two-way defensemen Frankie DeAngelis and Jamie Milam.

The pair combined for 38 goals and 87 points this season, and DeAngelis made the all-league team.

They had only two assists and Milam was scoreless against Rapid City.

“Milam and Frankie (didn’t) really get going offensively in that series like they did in the regular season,” coach Al Sims said.

The Komets’ leading scoring defenseman in the playoffs has been Jamie Lovell with one goal and four points. Missouri’s is Tristin Llewellyn, a former Fort Wayne player, with one goal and four points.

Despised referee calls Game 1

The Komets fans likely weren’t too pleased to see the Game 1 referee was Zac Blazic. Blazic called the first two games of the Rapid City series, giving nothing to Jeff Kyrzakos for his hit-from-behind on Brett Smith.

The Kyrzakos hit injured Smith’s neck, causing him to miss Game 6. Smith was able to play Friday night.