Uh-oh, perhaps the Port Huron Icehawks have awoken the slumbering giants. Or, perhaps, it was just one of those nights.
Just when it looked like the Komets were toast, they came out with a more typical Fort Wayne effort, winning 5-1 in Game 3 of the Turner Cup Finals. The Icehawks' lead is down to 2-1, with the next game coming Wednesday at McMorran Arena in Port Huron, Mich.
Credit the Komets' mettle in this one. They didn't get rattled by the 3-2 overtime loss on the road Saturday. So often, teams talk about not giving up, only to lay an egg. The Komets actually delivered, even though the fans at Memorial Coliseum were in a somber silence for too much of the night.
Lot of credit should also go to Fort Wayne coach Al Sims. He made some brilliant decisions, including putting Justin Hodgman, Colin Chaulk and Luciano Aquino back together, inserting Terry Marchant into the lineup and going with Nick Boucher in net.
Hodgman had two goals and an assist. Aquino had three assists. Chaulk had one goal and one assists. Marchant had a key third-period goal. Boucher stopped 25 of 26 shots.
And the Komets finally got some traffic in front of the net, which caused problems for Port Huron goalie Larry Sterling. The Komets felt Sterling was gassed, having played three games in three nights, and was having trouble with his agility and rebounds because of it. Hard to argue with them on those points.
The key now: The Komets can't rest on their laurels just because they didn't turn in a dud performance tonight. The Icehawks will be tricky on their ice in Game 4.
And by the way, I don't think the Icehawks should be too down on themselves. Would they have thought they'd be up a game at this point, having played only once at home?
- Ben Smith was on site tonight.
- Click here to read the Port Huron Times-Herald's blog. Paul Costanzo started the night picking the Icehawks in five games and quickly made the strike-through.
- The Icehawks didn't make players available for interviews with their own media, I heard. The IHL shouldn't allow that, as far as I'm concerned. If players want to give the "no comment," on instructions from their coach, that's another story.
- On the Konstantin Shafranov shot from Game 3, the one that wasn't ruled a goal, I've heard nothing from league insiders that suggests it was, in fact, a goal. The people I trust most on the issue say it wasn't. The Komets, as you would expect, are still believing it was. Doesn't matter much now, though.
- Not to grandstand here, but I'm hearing from a lot of people in other towns about how awful some of the Fort Wayne fans have been. By other people, I'm talking about men, women and children, who are being harassed, threatened, showered with beer, just because they might clap because someone from another team scored a nice goal. Not all Fort Wayne fans are like this, of course, but for those who are: I think you should bear in mind you're representing not only a team's fan base but also the community with your actions. Just my opinion. It's a wonder other cities are ragging on Fort Wayne so much these days.
-- By Justin A. Cohn, The Journal Gazette