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  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Defenseman Cody Corbett returned to the lineup Thursday, after an 11-game absence, and set up a Mike Embach goal.

Friday, May 20, 2016 12:03 pm

Komets' defense stepped up

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

ALLEN, Texas -- The Komets' defense shined in the 2-1 victory Thursday at the Allen Event Center. 

The Allen Americans, who came into the night with a 2-0 series lead, didn't get the odd-man rushes they'd grown accustomed to and Chad Costello, Vincent Arseneau and Gregor Hanson were all scoreless.

Only Gary Steffes was able to solve goalie Pat Nagle, who had 27 saves.

“It’s about playing the game the right way,” Komets coach Gary Graham said. “We finally played the game the right way. If we do that, it should be a low-scoring game if we defend well. Allen is playing extremely good hockey right now (at) defending, so they should be tight games 5-on-5.”

The Komets have a lot of respect for Allen’s power-play unit and its ability to transition from defense to offense in the blink of an eye. Allen was scoreless in its only power play in Game 3, has been outscored 6-4 in even strength play and it was limited in transition.

Fort Wayne defenseman Cody Corbett, who had been scratched in the previous 10 games, had an assist, a goal controversially waved off and a game-best seven shots on goal.

“We’ve been working on our gaps, and staying up against star forwards and not giving them anything,” Corbett said. “When we do that in practice, it transitions to the game. It’s one of those things where if you work on it during the series like that, when they come toward you with pressure and quick transitions, then we’re ready for it.”

However, Allen coach Steve Martinson thinks the Komets' defensemen can be exploited.

"We've got to get rebounds and they don’t move as good," Martinson told our correspondent, Steve Hunt. "They’re right in front of the net. We had some chances.

"I think one of their weaknesses is down low. We got to get more pucks down low because the times we had the opportunity to get it in, we didn’t do it. It’s one game. I think we’ve got some guys that are ready to go Saturday.”

jcohn@jg.net