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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Komets defenseman Frankie DeAngelis snapped a scoring drought in Game 4.

Defenders finally get offensive

Top defensemen DeAngelis, Milam scored in Game 4

– The Komets came into the playoffs with the most prolific tandem of scoring defensemen of the CHL’s eight playoff teams.

Frankie DeAngelis, who made the all-league team, and Jamie Milam combined for 38 goals and 87 points in 66 games during the regular season.

But they hadn’t produced much – statistically – before the Komets’ 5-4 double-overtime victory over the Missouri Mavericks on Thursday night in Game 4 of the Turner Conference finals at the Independence Events Center.

They had no goals and eight points in the first nine games of the playoffs. Jamie Lovell was the Komets’ top-scoring defenseman with two goals and five points.

But DeAngelis scored the overtime game-winner on a power play, and Milam had three points, including the power-play goal with 22 seconds remaining in regulation that came less than a minute after the Mavericks had seemingly won the game.

The best-of-seven Turner Conference finals are tied at 2 heading into tonight’s Game 5 in Independence.

“I’d like to score more, but we’re winning games, and we’re tied in the series,” Milam said. “It’s not like I’m getting scored on too many times and not scoring enough to make up for it. I’m just trying to play solid back there and let our forwards go after them.”

During the regular season, DeAngelis had 18 goals and 46 points – second only to Evansville’s Matt Gens – and DeAngelis was plus-12. In the playoffs, he has one goal, five points and a plus-2 rating.

Milam had 20 goals, 41 points and a minus-1 rating in the regular season. In the playoffs, he has one goal, six points and has an even rating.

But the Komets have won back-to-back games in Independence after dropping the first two games at Memorial Coliseum.

The Komets are trying to become the sixth team in CHL/Western Professional Hockey League history to successfully come back from a 0-2 deficit out of 59 tries in the playoffs.

If they do win the series, DeAngelis is unconcerned with who does the scoring.

“In the playoffs, we only care about one stat right now and that’s winning games,” he said. “As long as the guys who score are on our team, I think we’re pretty happy. We’ve got to just keep playing the way we are and it’ll come.”

Note: Texas defeated Wichita 2-1 Friday to even the Berry Conference finals at 2. Game 5 is today at Wichita.