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Brawl made loss interesting

The Komets lost 4-2 to the Gwinnett Gladiators, but a 10-player melee with seven seconds remaining gave the 7,417 fans something to remember.

It also made the impending rematch between the teams, Saturday at Memorial Coliseum, all the more interesting.

At least to me, it does.

"I don't think it means much," said right wing Brandon Marino, who had both Fort Wayne goals and five of its 11 this season. "It was just a heated game there at the end. We can't worry about that stuff going into tomorrow. We've got to win a hockey game. That's first and foremost.

"We can't have a vendetta thinking we've got to try to make up for what happened at the end. Both teams went at it; it wasn't just their team coming at us. We threw punches, too. We've got to worry about winning hockey games."

The Komets (2-2-1) may have to win without defenseman Brent Henley, who was given a match penalty by referee Chris Pitoscia for his actions in the brawl.

Coach Al Sims said the referee told him it was because Henley repeatedly sucker-punched a player with Gwinnett (3-2-1), even though Henley still had his gloves on. Any match penalties are automatically reviewed by the ECHL for possible supplementary discipline.

Gwinnett forward Evan Bloodoff scored twice in the first period – on a one-timer from 15 feet out and on a 20-foot wrist shot – and the Gladiators had a 2-1 lead.

"The first period killed us and that's the lesson we've learned from this," Marino said. "We can't play 40 minutes. We played good in the second and third (periods) and showed a little bit of heart there, but we've got to show up right from the start. We can't let a team get a lead on us like that."

Check back later for lots of great video.

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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