It was a wild night for the Fort Wayne Komets, who looked horrible early, dominant for most of two periods, but then collapsed by allowing two third period goals.
In the end, though, yet another Fort Wayne victory.
In overtime, where the Komets had yet to win a game this season, they got a goal from defenseman Guy Dupuis to defeat the Muskegon Fury 4-3 at Memorial Coliseum. Dupuis' goal came after some great playmaking by Matt Reynolds, who stick-handled behind the Fury net, around a discarded glove on the ice, then sent a pass out for Dupuis' one-timer.
Fort Wayne got its franchise-record 54th victory of the season, extended its team-record points total to 115 and brought the franchise- and IHL-record home winning streak to 25 games.
Just another night at the Coliseum, where fans were lined up hours before the game for Kevin Bertram bobbleheads. If they weren't among the first 1,000, they didn't get the collectibles -- I'm sure they'll be on eBay by the end of the night -- but they did get an exciting game.
Now, bring on three straight against the Flint Generals, who locked up a playoff spot with a 5-1 victory over Kalamazoo, which fired coach Brian Curran this week. Kalamazoo now trails Muskegon by two points for the fourth and final playoff spot, which will bring with it the dubious honor of playing Fort Wayne in the first round.
In other news, Komets coach Al Sims was selected as International Hockey League Coach of the Year, after voting among coaches and general managers. He took the same honor in 1993 with the Komets, in the first incarnation of the IHL, and that propelled him to coaching spots in the NHL, including one-year stint as the San Jose Sharks' head coach. Along those lines, and his age of 54, I asked Sims if he still harbors aspirations of moving back up the coaching ladder.
"Anytime you can get an opportunity for the NHL or the American Hockey League, I'd have to look at it," Sims said. "That's the ultimate goal for anybody. I've been there and done that. But obviously, if it came knocking again, I'd have to consider it."
- Mark your calendars: On Saturday night, I will be appearing on Indiana News Center's live "Sounding Off" show, talking about the Komets. They will be taking calls and e-mails, so I expect your participation. It will be on 7-8 p.m. on NBC 33 (Comcast 13).
- Interesting story from the Kalamazoo Gazette, especially knowing now that they lost their first game under interim coach/general manager Wade Welsh.
-- By Justin A. Cohn, The Journal Gazette