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Samuel Hoffman/The Journal Gazette
Komets goalie Nick Boucher stops a Port Huron shot in the first period April 3, 2010. Boucher's position in Komets playoff history is assured by leading the club back from 3-1 deficits against Port Huron in this series and in 2008.

Komets goalie Boucher retires

Takes job at local mortgage company

Boucher

Coach Al Sims and captain Colin Chaulk retired, and now so has the goaltender who backstopped them to four championships between 2008 and 2012.

Nick Boucher, who missed last season as he recovered from two hip surgeries and a wrist surgery, will now be a senior loan officer with Ruoff Mortgage in Fort Wayne.

"It wasn't a difficult decision after sitting all of last year and being away from the game. In some ways, because of that, I'd already started to make the step. I had one foot over the line and the other was dragging a little bit," Boucher said.

"But I skated at the end of the year and still had some aggravating pains. I realized I was going to have to medicate like I had in the past with cortisone shots and things, and I wasn't willing to do it. Everyone reaches the point where they ask, 'When is enough enough?' The last time I played, we won, and it would be hard to top that."

Boucher, 32, was 162-77-18 with a 2.51 goals-against average and 13 shutouts in five seasons with the Komets.

"The four championships in Fort Wayne that Nick won is an accomplishment that legends are made of in hockey," Komet general manager David Franke said. "If it wasn't for Nick's high competitive nature and unwavering focus to win, these championships probably would not have happened. Nick is a Komet living legend and his accomplishments bear that out."

Boucher may continue to assist the Komets as a goaltending consultant, informally.

"Maybe it's a blessing that I am going out on my own terms and not being forced to do so," Boucher said.

In Boucher's first season with the Komets, 2007-08, he led IHL goalies with a 2.32 GAA and a .913 save percentage. But he entered Fort Wayne lore in the playoffs, when he led them back from a 3-1 series deficit to win the Turner Cup Finals in triple overtime against Port Huron.

In 2008-09, he was selected as the IHL's Goaltender of the Year and was named Komets MVP by his teammates, and Fort Wayne won its second of three straight IHL playoff titles, something no goalie in franchise history had ever done.

En route to the 2010 championship, the Komets had another comeback from a 3-1 deficit to Port Huron in the semifinals.

In 2011-12, he led CHL goalies with 32 victories, was an all-star, was again selected team MVP and guided Fort Wayne to another championship, which included a comeback from down 2-0 to Missouri in the conference semifinals.

"Nick was the catalyst for all three consecutive championships," Komet president Michael Franke said. "His mindset was to keep the puck out of the net, and in the playoffs, that is exactly what he did. His place in Komet Hockey history is set. No one will ever backstop three straight championships again."

jcohn@jg.net

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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