Komets goaltender Kevin St. Pierre pulled himself
after the first period of Sunday's 3-2 shootout win over Motor City on Sunday
night with a bruised left catching hand. How significant the injury is won't be
determined until Monday afternoon, but St. Pierre moved very gingerly around the
locker room after the game, getting dressed and undressed with one hand while
trying to hold his injured hand out of the way.
St. Pierre suffered the injury at 8:07 of the first period on a goal by Motor CIty's Tom Kotsopoulos.
"The shot just hit me in a bad spot and my hand turned and the puck went in,'' St. Pierre said. ``It wasn't
too bad until I took my glove off, and then it swelled up. Right now we're going
as it's a bruised hand, and we'll go from there.''
The Komets downplayed the severity of the injury officially, but it was a pretty ugly shade of blue after the game. St. Pierre just shrugged his shoulders and said, "We'll find out tomorrow.''
Back-up goaltender Kevin Kurk came out to start the second period, and was
very solid, stopping 20 of 21 shots against him. The lone goal came on a
third-period power play when teammate David Hukalo dove to block a shot at the
point, but the puck deflected directly to the Mechanics' Brent Gretzky for an
"It's tough coming in off the bench, but I thought I played well,'' Kurk said. ``It's a lot harder than
people might think. You just have to stay focused no matter what and pretend
like you are going to play every game. It's tough because your mind wanders
off, but it's part of the job to stay focused.''
Even with St. Pierre out, the rest of the Komets
stayed focused, too. They twice lost one-goal leads but still played solid
defensively, and they blitzed Motor City goaltender Rod Branch with four
shootout goals on seven chances.
"The one thing we learned today was to stay with the gameplan and not to deviate,'' Komets coach Greg
Puhalski said. ``We persisted and did what we need to do which is first and
foremost play solid defensively. You have to kind of bide your time and look for
your chances. Most of the time what we've done in situations like that is tried
to be overagressive and we've run ourselves into trouble.''
The win was the Komets' 13th out of their last 17 games and moved them into a tie with Motor City for seventh place in the overall United Hockey League standings. After a 5-11-2 start, the Komets are finally in playoff position with two games in hand on Motor City and on Quad City which is
three points ahead of Fort Wayne for second place in the Western Division.
The Komets have also won seven of their last nine home games to pull two games above .500 at home for the first time this season.
``I didn't think it was a pretty win, but I'd rather win ugly than lose pretty,'' said Komets forward Jonathan Goodwin who has three goals in two games. "I thought Kurky stepped up and played great tonight considering he wasn't expecting to play at all this weekend. We did what we had to do.''