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K's now must remain focused

The second-best quote of the season came from Komets captain Colin Chaulk, after his team's 4-1 victory over the Missouri Mavericks tonight.

"We've done nothing but earn two more days' pay," Chaulk said. "I think we've made Central Hockey League noise but it's not very loud."

In other words, his teammates better not let up, like they did after evening the series at two games apiece.

(For the record, the best quote of the season was when Brent Henley was suspended by the CHL in the first period because, "My name is Brent Henley and I play for the Fort Wayne Komets.")

Game 7 between the Komets and Mavericks in the Turner Conference finals will be Thursday at Memorial Coliseum. The Komets are 7-3 all-time in Game 7s, and they've won three in a row, coming back from 3-1 deficits in the 2005 UHL semifinals, the 2008 IHL finals and the 2010 IHL semis.

If the Komets win this Game 7, they will earn a spot in the President's Cup finals against the Wichita Thunder and become only the sixth team to successfully come back from a 0-2 deficit in a best-of-seven series out of 59 tries in the history of the CHL/Western Professional Hockey League.

Scoring first in this game helped -- Jamie Milam netted it -- because it was the first time in the series Fort Wayne had scored first. But the biggest factor tonight was that the Komets got traffic in front of goalie Charlie Effinger, who gave up all four goals off rebounds. He did stop 43 shots.

Nick Boucher was great for the Komets, too, with 31 saves.

The Komets' other goals came from Chaulk, Mike Vaskivuo and Bobby Chaumont.

I really believe the Komets' chances in Game 7, as they were tonight, are all mental. When the Komets play their game, they're just way better than Missouri. But the Komets let down too often. So, they need to do the same things Thursday: Come out hard early, score first, get lots of traffic, don't get into a passive "prevent" defense, block shots and get good goaltending.

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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