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The Journal Gazette

  • Standout Imagery | Colorado Eagles Komets goaltender Michael Houser makes a save Tuesday night at the Budweiser Events Center in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals at Loveland, Colorado, against the defending-champion Colorado Eagles.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 12:50 am

Analyzing Komets' Game 6 victory

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

LOVELAND, Colorado – I came into this series having picked the Komets to win in seven games, so I shouldn't be surprised that we're headed to a Game 7. But I was not wild at all about the way they were playing in the first period tonight. They were being more reactive, instead of taking the game to the Eagles.

But the Komets got the 3-2 victory and forced Game 7 because they're so resilient, because they're the team that surprises you just when you count them out.

Michael Houser gave up a soft goal, sure, but his defining characteristic in these playoffs has been bouncing back. His two best games came on the heels of his two worst. His performance in the second and third periods tonight came on the heels of a goal that he should have stopped. 

Captain Jamie Schaafsma and Shawn Szydlowski needed to break out and lead the Komets, and they did tonight, but I have a feeling the Eagles are going to be looking for their top guns, guys such as Michael Joly, Matt Garbowsky and J.C. Beaudin to do the same in Game 7. 

I cannot believe how suddenly bad the Komets' power play looked in this game, going 0 for 3. It was discombobulated, to say the least, and they need that to change. Here's hoping the referees let them play in Game 7.

Speaking of which, Houser hasn't been in a Game 7 since he was in juniors. But I talked to some of the Komets about their mentality for it, and they said to bring more of the same. Must win, they said, is must win. 

I wonder if coach Gary Graham will indeed use Dennis Kravchenko in Game 7, now they he'll be back from his suspension. My feeling is he'll look at fresh legs and find a way to get him in, but who do you sit? Artur Tyanulin would be the most likely candidate. Finesse just isn't working in this series. 

I'm very surprised at how the Eagles played tonight; they had chances but didn't seem hungry. I feel like much of this series they either felt like they'd be able to coast by or just got angry and started taking dumb penalties. That being said, even on off nights, the Eagles get so many odd-man rushes. If the Komets don't stop that it has to eventually catch up to them, right? 

Game 7s are all about adrenaline. The Eagles haven't looked like a team that can channel that well. The Komets have. So that will be very interesting in the first period.

jcohn@jg.net