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  • Szydlowski’s goal lifts Komets in OT
    The Komets endured the resiliency and physical play of the Kalamazoo Wings – some would call it dirty play – and emerged with a 3-2 overtime victory Friday in front of 5,122 fans at Wings Stadium.
  • Komets’ newcomer shakes off rust
    During the first weekend of the Komets’ season, forward Matthew Pistilli had two goals, three points and a plus-3 rating in two games.
  • Komets’ forward has goals organized
    Amid the franchise-record 12 trades the Komets made during the up-and-down 2013-14 season, a gem was found in the form of forward Mike Embach.
vs. Missouri
What: Turner Conference finals
Best of 7 (Missouri leads 2-0)
April 13: Missouri 3, Komets 2, OT
April 14: Missouri 6, Komets 3
Today: at Missouri, 8:05 p.m.
Thursday: at Missouri, 8:05 p.m.
Saturday: at Missouri,8:05 p.m.*
Tuesday: vs. Missouri, 7:30 p.m.*
April 26: vs. Missouri, 7:30 p.m.*
* If necessary
Radio: 1190 AM, 92.3 FM
Following the Komets
Keep up with the Komets during the CHL playoffs with Journal Gazette Komets reporter Justin A. Cohn. Look for blogs and videos at “Ice Chips” at and Twitter updates @JGKomets.

K’s need quick start in Game 3

– Forty-five times in CHL history a team has fallen behind 2-0 in a best-of-seven series. In only five of those series did the trailing team come back to win.

If you factor in statistics from the Western Professional Hockey League, which merged with the CHL, then a team has come back from 2-0 deficits only five times in 58 series.

The Komets will try to buck that trend beginning tonight at the Independence Events Center in Game 3 of the Turner Conference finals.

If the Komets are going to overcome the Mavericks, a good start would be by scoring first. The team that has scored first has won 10 of 12 games in the conference playoffs.

The Komets haven’t been able to solve goalie Charlie Effinger, who stopped 77 of 82 shots in a 3-2 overtime victory Friday and a 6-3 victory Saturday.

“If it ain’t working and you’re not getting the results, you’re obviously not working hard enough, you’re obviously not working smart enough, you’re obviously not deciphering and making the right decisions at the right time,” Komets captain Colin Chaulk said. “The effort is there, … but it ebbs and flows, just like anything.”

The Komets believe they have outplayed the Mavericks. But Missouri has been at its best in the first periods.

The Komets have outshot the Mavericks 26-21 in the first, 32-15 in the second and 20-13 in the third. Missouri has scored three of four first-period goals, one of three second-period goals and four of six third-period goals.

The Komets haven’t been helped by their goaltending. Nick Boucher has stopped 29 of 34 shots and was pulled early in Game 2, while former Maverick Gerry Festa has stopped 13 of 16.

But the Komets are a confident team on the road, after they went 21-11-1 in the regular season – better than every team except Allen. Fort Wayne also went 2-1 at Rapid City, S.D., in the first round.

Missouri had the worst home record (19-11-1) of the eight playoff teams, but the Mavericks did win both of their home games in a first-round sweep of Evansville.

“We’re one of the best road teams in the league, and we can’t hang our heads about anything that happened in the last two games,” Fort Wayne center Brett Smith said. “We’ve got a lot of character in that locker room, and it’s far from over.”

The Komets have outshot the Mavericks 82-51.

“For sure, it’s been frustrating,” Smith said. “But having chances is better than not having them. We’ve dominated them. Did they even get in our end in the second period (Saturday)? We played well, we just didn’t score, and it seemed like everything kind of went in for them. We’ve got to keep our heads up and just go to work. … We’ve just got to lace up and take it one shift at a time and go after it.”

The Komets lost their only game at Independence during the regular season, 4-3 in an overtime shootout.