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I also break down the possible opponents for next round; and let's talk racism in sports

In the next series, which could begin Friday, the Komets will play either Cincinnati or Orlando. Cincinnati, which is seeded third in the conference, leads second-seeded Orlando 3-2 heading into Tuesday's game at Orlando. Cincinnati dropped the last two games on home ice.

Before we get to that, make sure you check out this story on the Komets' series clinching victory over defending-champion Reading. Included there is the video, which you will want to check out.

Click here to read the notebook.

Click here to read Ben Smith's column.

Click here to see photos.

OK, now back to Cincinnati and Orlando ...

During the regular season, Fort Wayne was 5-1-2 against the Cyclones, who have been led in playoff scoring by Byron Froese's five goals and seven points.

Mike Embach had six goals and seven points in six regular-season games against the Cyclones, who he led in playoff scoring last year but traded him early this season to Gwinnett after he didn't see eye to eye with new coach Ben Simon. Brandon Marino had six goals and 13 points in eight games against Cincinnati. (It's possible Embach will be suspended for his clip of Kevin Walrod in the 2-1 double-overtime victory over Reading on Sunday.)

However, just as the Komets had confidence heading into the Reading series because the Royals' style of play matched well with the Komets' systems, the same might hold true for Orlando.

In the regular season, Fort Wayne lost its only meeting with the Solar Bears, 5-4 at Memorial Coliseum on March. 19. During that game, Fort Wayne goalie Ben Meisner collapsed during the second period because of an accelerated heartbeat and dizziness and missed the next five games.

Playing Orlando would enter into the equation an interesting storyline: the Solar Bears have Mickey Lang, the ECHL's MVP and top goal scorer in the regular season with 44, who began the season with Fort Wayne but left the team and demanded a trade Dec. 26. He was soon dealt, though the Komets didn't get any return until March 13, when Aaron Clarke arrived. In the playoffs, Lang is one of five Orlando players with a team-leading three points.

Meanwhile, the Komets have Marino, who finished third in MVP voting and was the leading point-getter with 88.

"The Cincinnati team, obviously, we're very familiar with," Fort Wayne coach Graham said. "They're a very good team, well coached. Orlando, they play a lot like us. I'll start watching film on both teams, start getting some scouting reports ready, and probably get prepared for both teams, to be honest with you."

Personally, I think Orlando would be a more favorable foe for the Komets. But it would be nice if they played Cincinnati, since it would enable Fort Wayne fans to more easily go to the games there.

In totally other news

Did you see this story yet? Click here.

My brother, Matthew, wrote the author, Sandy Banks, the following note ...

To somehow suggest that racism would be accepted by the hockey community is unacceptable, which seems to be your idea when suggesting mr sterling buy a hockey team in your column.

Both the Kings and Ducks currently and previously have employed minority players and the hockey world is substantially more diverse than you clearly understand. Perhaps you should watch the ongoing NHL playoffs where you can enjoy minority players such as Alec Martinez, Dwight King and Jordan Nolan on your hometown Kings to educate yourself on how diverse hockey truly is.

The alleged comments of mr sterling would not be accepted in the hockey community and there was no need for you to use your own form of stereotyping by suggesting hockey is only "white" and accepting of racism.

An apology is in order.

What do you think?

Click here to see what Puck Daddy did.

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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