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Justin Cohn/The Journal Gazette
Frankie DeAngelis hits the post with 1 second remaining Saturday. The Komets hit 6 posts in the game and lost 4-3.

Like I said: Cart before horse

I don't think the Komets played a bad game. When you unleash 39 shots and hit six posts, you couldn't have played that poorly.

But they were tight, I don't think there's any question about it.

The Komets lost 4-3 to the Wichita Thunder, cutting Fort Wayne's lead in the best-of-seven Presidents' Cup finals to 3-1.

Game 5 will be Monday at Memorial Coliseum.

The Komets had no reason not to go after it in this game, yet there were times when they didn't seem they were going full throttle.

With 10,480 fans in the arena, some holding brooms, some having tailgated for hours, and beer and champagne on ice, the Komets didn't put in the performance they had hoped they would.

"The fans, they like to have a little fun out there and whatnot," forward Mike Vaskivuo said. "But we don't get carried away with that stuff right now. We're focused on playing simple, playing hard and hopefully we get that win on Monday."

The Komets got goals from Vaskivuo on a penalty shot, Chris Auger and Jean-Michel Rizk. Wichita's goals came from Daniel Tetrault, Matt Summers, Aaron Davis and the winner from Thomas Beauregard.

Nick Boucher stopped 17 of 21 shots. Bryan Hogan stopped 36 of 39 for the Thunder.

"I'm OK with what happened tonight," Komets captain Colin Chaulk said. "I'm not happy. But I'm OK with our effort and the way we played. We created a great opportunity in the last second and didn't finish. Hey, what a story that would have been, eh? We've just got to rewrite the ending now."

As for all those posts the Komets hit, including the one pictured above with one second left ...

"Man, it's crazy. An inch this way, an inch that way, a millimeter that way, and the pucks go in the net instead of going out. The hockey gods just weren't on our side tonight," Vaskivuo said.

I just had a bad feeling the Komets would lose this one. Karma wasn't on their side for $500 worth of brooms. But I don't see any way the Komets lose Monday.

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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