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Don't blame Mavericks for ire

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- The Missouri Mavericks were, understandably, angry with referee Boone Bruggman for giving the Komets a power play during double overtime Thursday.

The Komets scored on that power play -- Frankie DeAngelis netted it -- and the Komets won 5-4 to tie the best-of-seven Turner Conference finals at two games apiece.

I don't blame the Mavericks for their ire.

Did Dale Mahovsky trip/knee Jamie Lovell? Yes. Was it necessarily a call that needed to be made at the stage of the game? Eh.

A penalty is a penalty but you Komets fans know, if the roles had been reversed, you would be yelling that the referee should have just let them play.

I thought Bruggman called a very good game, though, and the officiating has been infinitely better in this series than it was against Rapid City. I think that's a product of the teams playing much cleaner. In other words, Les Reaney not being on the ice.

But I don't want the Missouri fans reading to think that the fact has escaped me that the Komets forced overtime on a power-play goal and won on another. They shouldn't forget, though, that both teams had six power plays in the game and Missouri got three of its four goals with the man-advantage.

In the series, it's been called evenly. Missouri is 4 for 16 on the power play. Fort Wayne is 3 of 14.

Fort Wayne has 68 penalty minutes, including the two misconducts on Chris Auger. Missouri has 44.

I was glad to see the Mavericks didn't get any penalties for abuse of officials after the loss Thursday, even though they blew some gaskets. Emotions run high when calls like that are made, and the Mavericks can be forgiven their anger.

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 jcohn@jg.net.

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