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Effinger's 43 saves key victory

For a time, it seemed that Charlie Effinger might be the odd man out in the Komets' three-goaltender rotation.

It's amazing how quickly things can change.

His 43-save performance tonight -- after sitting out more than two weeks -- was the most impressive game of the season by a Fort Wayne goalie in a 1-0 victory over the Gwinnett Gladiators.

"Earlier in my career, it might have been more deflating to my confidence," Effinger said of sitting out since Oct. 12. "But this is my fifth year and I try to bring my daily approach, whether I play 50 games or if I play 10 games, whatever it is. When they call my number, I want to be ready to go."

Of course, Kenny Reiter was called up to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League this week, and if that hadn't happened, who knows if Effinger would have even played?

But he was pretty terrific tonight.

"We decided before the game that it would be a tight, low-scoring game and we were going to try to win it 1-0. But I didn't think that would come to fruition," Komets coach Al Sims said. "Obviously, one guy took that comment seriously, and that was Charlie. … You could see through screen shots, everything, he was right on the puck tonight."

Now the Komets have to find some more offense; Brandon Marino's line can't do it all.

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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