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Komets

  • Goalie stays focused without much action
      Goaltender Ben Meisner stopped 20 of 21 shots as the Komets shocked the defending champion Reading Royals with a 2-1 victory in the opening game of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Thursday night.
  • Ks win battle royal
      The Reading Royals may dispute the legality of the game-winning play. But there was no disputing what put the Komets in position to defeat the ECHL’s defending champions Thursday night.
  • Ks goalie excited by 1st shot at playoffs
      The Komets have used nine goaltenders this season – a franchise record for the 62-year-old team – and Ben Meisner is the one left standing between the pipes.
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Komets
vs. Missouri
What: Turner Conference finals
Best of 7 (Missouri leads 1-0)
April 13: Missouri 3, Komets 2, OT
Today: vs. Missouri, 8 p.m.
Wednesday: at Missouri, 8:05 p.m.
Thursday: at Missouri, 8:05 p.m.
April 21: at Missouri, 8:05 p.m.*
April 24: vs. Missouri, 7:30 p.m.*
April 26: vs. Missouri, 7:30 p.m.*
* If necessary
Radio: 1190 AM, 92.3 FM
Photos by Laura J. Gardner | The Journal Gazette
Angry fans scream after a disputed call went against the Komets late in the third period of their playoff game Friday night at Memorial Coliseum.
Turner Conference Finals

Loss has Komets up in arms

Disputed call late in 3rd helps Missouri rally in series opener

– Two names will live in infamy at Memorial Coliseum: John-Scott Dickson and Zac Blazic.

Dickson was the player for the Missouri Mavericks who got tangled up with Komets defenseman Brent Henley, forcing the net off its moorings with 19 seconds remaining and the Komets leading by one goal Friday in the opener of the Turner Conference Finals.

Blazic was the referee who ruled that Henley intentionally knocked the net off.

Ed McGrane scored on the ensuing penalty shot and Dickson struck again in overtime, taking a shot from the bottom of the right circle that banked off the inside of goaltender Nick Boucher’s leg and in for a 3-2 victory.

“I wouldn’t knock the net off intentionally, and I didn’t. I was trying to get back to the front of the net to play defense,” said Henley, who hit the net at the same time as Dickson hit the crossbar.

“I don’t know if I stepped on a stick or a player, I don’t know, but my left leg went out from underneath me and I went face-first into the back of the net. … I didn’t do it on purpose, and I feel terrible that it’s the way it went into overtime. It’s a terrible way to end a very good hockey game.”

The Mavericks hadn’t played since April 2, when they completed a sweep of the Evansville IceMen.

The Komets were coming off a heated series with the Rapid City Rush, which ended Tuesday with Fort Wayne’s 4-3 Game 6 overtime victory.

It looked early on as if the layoff might be an advantage for the Mavericks, when forward Andrew Courtney opened the scoring 1:02 into the game by depositing the rebound of a Sebastien Thinel shot into an open net.

But then the Komets took over.

Fort Wayne tied it at 6:59 when center Jean-Michel Rizk sent a pass from behind the Missouri net and Tom Mele blasted it in.

McGrane had goal waved off late in the first period because a Missouri player was in the crease, jostling with Boucher, who stopped 24 of 27 shots.

The only goal of the second period was scored by Fort Wayne, after center Colin Chaulk sent a dazzling pass from behind the net to Mike Vaskivuo, who buried it beneath goalie Charlie Effinger.

Effinger stopped 38 of 40 shots.

“We certainly weren’t a very good hockey club. They outplayed us in every aspect of the game. Our goaltender held us in, especially in the third period,” Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said.

“We looked like the team that just played six games, and they looked like the team that was fresh and ready. I was scared of the rust, and that was about as bad as I’d seen us in a few months.”

Komets coach Al Sims agreed that his team was better, despite the outcome.

“We’ll take the positives out of this,” he said.

Notes: Wichita defeated Texas 3-1 in the first game of the Berry Conference finals. … The Komets played without defenseman David Starenky (shoulder), who didn’t practice Friday morning because of the injury. Starenky was injured on a hit from behind by Rapid City’s Les Reaney in the last series.

jcohn@jg.net

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