Hey, it's not a Cup until it gets some wear and tear on it. The Fort Wayne Komets captured the Turner Cup as champions of the International Hockey League and, upon hoisting it above his head, captain Guy Dupuis snapped the cup part right off.
But the team was all smiles, all gasps, after a marathon game that took three overtimes to win. The youngest guy on the ice, Justin Hodgman, got the winner. He grabbed a Dupuis shot out of midair, dropped it to the ice and sent it past goaltender Larry Sterling.
It was about the Komets' 20th great chance of overtime. It seemed only a matter of time until they got the best of Sterling, who was phenomenal in this game.
Hodgman was at a loss for words after the game. He was named Playoff MVP by commissioner Paul Pickard. He was the right choice, the only choice. I asked him, as the 10,462 fans chanted his name, if he'd consider forgoing his final year of juniors to come back to Fort Wayne. He wasn't ruling it out.
Frankly, though, he's destined for higher levels.
This was an amazing game. I actually thought regulation was a little boring. It seemed like the Komets had it won, up 2-1 with less than a minute to go. Then a Tab Lardner shot ricocheted off the skates of two Fort Wayne players and went in.
The Komets were downtrodden in the locker room after the third period but, I'm told, were more confident with every passing minute. Overtime was awesome to watch.
Consider this: After the Komets fell behind 3-1 in the series, they never again trailed in a game. That's what I call a comeback.
Here are postgame interviews:
Nick Boucher: Download boucher_championship.WMA
Justin Hodgman: Download hodgman_championship.WMA
P.C. Drouin: Download drouin_championship.WMA
Guy Dupuis: Download dupuis_championship.WMA
-- By Justin A. Cohn, The Journal Gazette