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Tailing the Komets

No retreat for three-peat

This was like New Year's Eve when nobody really wanted to play the third period so they could start the party early.

The Fort Wayne Komets built a 3-0 lead after two periods and beat the Flint Generals 3-2 before a sellout Memorial Coliseum crowd of 10,480 fans. The win clinches the Komets' third International Hockey League Turner Cup title in a row, something that hasn't been done since the Cincinnati Mohawks on five titles in a row from 1953-57.

This wasn't a title defense as much as a smothering. Whenever the Generals got the puck, wherever they were on the ice, there was a Komets player there to challenge. Fort Wayne made all the easy plays and made everything difficult on Flint. The Komets had a 29-11 advantage in shots through two periods as goaltender Nick Boucher was getting a little lonely. The final shots total was 42-21.

The only way the Generals seemed to generate any offense was on the power play, and even there they couldn't get any clean looks on the net. There was a sense all night the Generals were just hanging on, hoping the Komets would make a critical mistake.

After a tight first 15 minutes, the Komets finally broke through when Turner Cup Most Valuable Player Matt Syroczynski scored a power-play goal from out front on a Justin Hodgman pass. It was Syroczynski's 11th goal in 12 playoff games. For the season, he scored 41 goals in 60 games.

The Komets put the game away in the second period as P.C. Drouin scored a pair of goals. He first nailed a slap shot from the blue line for a power play 6:44 into the period. Five minutes later Drouin scored again when he faked a long slap shot to slide around the defenseman for a nifty wrist shot from 25 feet over the shoulder of Flint goaltender Rob Nolan.

Drouin, who missed last year's playoffs with an injury, led the Komets in scoring during the playoffs with 18 points in 12 games. He was also outstanding defensively, compiling a plus-9 plus-minus rating.

As they did all season and throughout the postseason, the Generals rallied in the third period on goals by John Ronan and Jake Pence, but the Komets tightened up their defense again. After Flint pulled goaltender Nolan with 1:47 remaining, the Komets held the Generals without a shot on goal.

There were four one-goal games in the series, and the Komets won three of them.

The Komets will hold their annual end-of-season fan party and jersey auction at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, for the first time in the coliseum arena. The jersey auction will start at 7 p.m. The cost is $5 for non-season ticket holders.

Posted in: Komets


Sat, 05/15/2010 - 10:05pm

Congrats to K's, the Franke family, and Al Sims...PC can play at 75% all he wants..Was unable to make game home with back issues, but got the B2 feed...Boucher has to rank as one of the best to wear a K's jersey in goal...Congrats to the hometown boys, Warner and Shrocky, for fulfilling childhood dreams of playing and winning a championship in a K's jersey. Blake thanks for your coverage of the K's and IHL in general..Now time to enjoy the summer

Sat, 05/15/2010 - 10:15pm

Not much I can add, great job team, the whole team. Thank you so very much......

Hit Somebody!!!
Sat, 05/15/2010 - 10:28pm

Great playoff run again Komets!!!! Here are some random thoughts from Hit Somebody!!!

Chewy works as hard as anybody I have ever seen in an Orange and Black jersey. He may not put up huge numbers, but his effort and the little things he does that doesn't show-up in the stat sheet, well, that was the thing that I brought up early in the season about this Komet team, I thought they needed somw role players.....and Chewy was a big part of that and I admire him. Kudos, I love to watch him play hockey. Balls to the walls every shift this season.

Chaulker still has alot of game. Will he return? I can see 91 in the rafters someday. What a true Komet. The definition in my book.

Guy, old or not, he just keeps playing great hockey and he is a leader on the ice and I am sure off too. Another great season for #2, that number will hang from the rafters too.

PC Buddy, I was hard on him alot of times, mainly because he is a very talented player, and I knew he could put the pedal to the metal and out-play anyone in this league.....and he did so in the playoffs folks. He played great. JM said it best...I love Playoff PC. Great Job PC Buddy, someday I will explain the "buddy" part, it is not a knock or anything negative....just something that caught on and it is said alot where I sit.

Bouch and Haun both awesome this season. Can't say anything more than that.

Leo was the most solid performer we had this season from start to finish. Great season. Always will remember him as a Komet Legend in my estimation.

I hope we see Schrocky in Orange and Black next year....for us. He might get a higher calling.

OC plays his best hockey as the season gets longer and the playoffs. He was fabulous. An absolute great player this year. Glad K-Zoo is stupid...they gave us a gift.

Syro, can anyone imagine the number of goals this kid could have had for us if he played the whole year here, and if he hit 50% of the open nets this year....kidding a little, but man he had a big year. He could have had 85 goals people. Seriously.

Frankie is a very good player.....Phillips was solid as heck this year....Danko is as sound a D-Man as there is......Rodger, will he be a rookie next year again??? Maybe that is why he sat out some games? I like his game no matter what you say....

Bert played huge in the playoffs. Good job man. Nice season overall.

Brandon Warner, everyone was hard on this kid for whatever reasons.....me too....but I have to say, I watch him close to see how he plays, and he got much better as the year went along to the point, he was great in the playoffs. Yes I said it.....BWs was maybe, just maybe our best D-Man in the playoffs....he did a little bit of everything. Great job.

Mac is one tough dude. One of my favorites of all time here.

Hukalo healthy would have been nice, dude has had a tough year, but still a beat-up Huk plays good for us. I feel bad he was so disabled this year. I like his game alot.

Hodgy was a great playoff pickup, keep working hard, would love to see him in the NHL soon.

Hope I haven't left anyone out.

Awesome season. I loved most every minute of it. We are the most spoiled fans in sports with the product and arena we have. I love the Komets. Thank you to the Frankes and Big Al for another great season. Thanks to Bob Chase for another great run on the radio....thanks for calling me an idiot. LOL

Let the summer soap opera and silly season begin......it is going to be something. No rest for the Super Fan....LOL

Go Komets.

Sat, 05/15/2010 - 11:36pm

Some comments to HS's comments:

Right on... Chewy, Chaulk, Guy, goalies, PC, Leo, OC, Syro, Frankie, Bert, Mac, Huk, etc... wow... absolutely my same assessments on all...

Warner, in Game 4 in Flint, was by far the best player to not show up in the score sheet.... Outstanding game blocking shots, moving the puck and skating. And I've not always been a Warner fan.

Hodgy... looked like he played to not get hurt. Maybe Shaf would have been a better role player... I don't know... Hodgy does bring speed and quick puck distribution when he wants to actually distribute...

Frankie, Rodger, Phillips, Danko... all d-men... can all these guys come back, please?!!!?

And a final comment to HS comments: this will be a summer soap opera and silly season for the ages... minor league hockey could be in for some big changes. It will be fun to watch and FW fans will be the most in-tune.

Congrats K's player and to the Frankes.

Sat, 05/15/2010 - 11:52pm

Which Komets from these 3 peat years deserve to have their number hanging from the rafters?
Chaulk... Yes... 4 cups.
Boucher....Yes... Proved me wrong this year because even though I was correct that Haun would be huge this season, Boucher was again when it counted and has made Komet fans forget Kevin St Pierre who put up wonderful regular season numbers but choked year after year when it counted.
Guy...No brainer yes.

Drouin? I don't think so despite some highlight goals over the years
Hodgeman...no. Maybe an award named after him but thats about it.
Bertram? 4 cups now but I don't see it hanging up there.

Anyone else agree/disagree or have other ideas?

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 05/16/2010 - 12:13am

Chaulk, Guy, probably Boucher......those are the 3.

Guy for his whole career of service with this team, plus the cups and playoff runs....could be the greatest D-man to wear the jersey here.....with everything being even with the thought no matter the level or league.....this "Guy" played at both the High IHL and the Medium IHL and was great.

Chaulk, he is one of the best Komets of all-time. He has to be known as the best player for the 2000's. And he has led this team to 4 cups. He is the glue, the heart, and the man of this team. Without Chaulker, you have the Pat Bingham team of mixed personalities without a real level-headed presence on and off the ice. Remember some told us we would forget Colin Chaulk once we saw Bruce Richardson??? I am still laughing by buttocks off on that one. BR couldn't hold Colin's jock. No offense, but Colin coming back, well, let me count the rings. Chaulker proved in this series alone what a talent he is. He played head to head with Smolinksi and/or Rheaume and he was clearly the better player of those 2. That is just the truth. Those are 2 established NHLers and Chaulker out played those 2.

Boucher......I would think he is worthy of his name up in the rafters.....a Goalie that led 3 teams in a row to the KUP....probably. He is the only of the 3 we can debate. The other 2 are locks.

Hodgman could be the "hired at the end of the season gun" award.

PC....no. Good player here. Not retired number level though, hasn't done it for enough years to be considered.

Bert...??? NO. Good serviceable D-Man/Fireman.....not hall of famer though. If you let him in, then you open the door for guys like Kevin Schmidt, Dave Lemay, Troy Neumeier, Dan Ronan, Kelly Perault, etc. And none of them deserve it, and all might be better D-men than Bert. You can't just retire a player into the rafter because he was a good player on great teams.

Hope this makes sense.

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 8:13am

Hit I agree with you on all counts.
I'd love to hear what Blake thinks on this and if there is anyone out there who does not think the three we agree on should be worthy of the honor.
To me a hall of famer is someone who is the best at what he does in his sport/league over an extended period of time. I would state especially with Boucher and Chaulk, the Komets would not have won these three championships without those two and the numbers don't lie when stacked up against the rest of the league that the two of them are among the best of the league.
Guy is just Guy. The numbers don't show it and forgive his few errors of slowness this year, but he is the rock on the back end. The Rod Langway of the Komets and Langway and his 51 career goals are in the NHL hall of fame because of his solid defensive play over a long period of time.

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 8:16am

let's toss in two more....
Shaf and Sims....

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 05/16/2010 - 11:41am

Sims yes,,,,he has won 4 Kups for the Komets in 4 successive years as coach.....a 4-peat for him, which is the most incredible thing in sports if you think about it. He has to be in the rafters.

Shaf....no. Just my opinion, legend as a Komet, played great hockey here.....I just don't think he has done enough in a K's jersey to be retired as a guy that stacks up with the greatest ever Komet contributors. I can't see him up there with Long, Chin, Chaulk, etc. No slight to Shaf at all.....great player here, but once again, if you let him in, then the flood gates open to others in the past that were better hockey players than him.....just a few I think of would be Bawa, Boginiecki, Bashikorov, Tsyplakov, Boyce, etc. etc. I know I mis-spelled a few names there, those are tough ones though...LOL

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 11:50am

Pretty much agree with you Hit. Snuff, yeah Al Sims is most worthy of consideration including for what he taught the Frankes about hockey in the early days of their ownership.

Shaf, I have to think about that a bit and look at some history and stats. Not saying I disagree, just not sure I agree yet. I would have to see how many if any other players made similar contributions and don't have their #s retired and hanging.

Another question is where was he during this round of playoffs? Not that there is anything wrong with him playing for his country and it was part of his contract, but several other players could have done the same and didn't. Brings up another question, will Shaf get a ring for his contributions during the season, or not because he wasn't on the team that won the championship?

IMO the standards for having your number retired and hung up need to be high, especially considering some from the distant past who haven't.

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 11:53am

I'm wondering about holding the party in the arena? Why? Is it do to the exhibition halls being booked? Space considerations? Just wondering if everything, including fans will be on the floor? Be interesting to see. If anybody gets out of hand I guess they can be sent to the box... :-)

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 11:54am

Along the same lines that I'm thinking Hit, we must be posting at the same time......

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 1:10pm

The only thing I would like to add is that if Boucher gets his hung up there it will be strictly for the championships he's won... IMO

He's never really been the #1 guy for an entire season... He's been injured alot during regular season play and has held down the co#1 each season... The defensive play has been stellar in front of him each season and has definitely benefitted from Al Sims defense first game plans. Now please dont get me wrong, he's been a very good goalie at this level. And he finds another level and then some when the playoffs come around. I think putting Boucher up there would open the door for other considerations at the goalie position...

Hit Somebody!!!
Sun, 05/16/2010 - 1:18pm

I can agree with you JR....but 3 straight Kups is hard to argue with no matter who the goalie is or was and who the defense was in front of that goalie. I agree that Sims system and strong defensive players makes a difference...you could say he is the lucky guy that got in the rafters because he was in the right place at the right time, but you really can't argue Bouch's numbers and accomplishments either way.

St. Pierre is arguably one of the better goalies to play here, and never could get it done in the post season here and I could argue that the defensive players and Puhulski's system was greater defensively than Al's......and I wouldn't retire St Pierre ever.

Boucher should go in.....and I don't think it would open the door for any other Goalie to get his number retired....if there is one, name him. There is no other goalie in Komet history who can say 3-Peat and Nick was the guy that made all 3 runs. Not saying that Timmy couldn't have made the run this year, or Reiter 2 years ago.....but Nick did it all 3.

That is the difference in my book, and that is why he might get his number hung.

Blake Sebring
Sun, 05/16/2010 - 1:57pm

You guys are killing me because this is already written for Tuesday. Can I ask a favor and you guys wait until you see that to continue this discussion? There are some pretty big things you have not considered which will be included in that story. Please?

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 2:13pm

I am not trying to take anything away from Boucher, I just want that out there....

And will wait to respond further....

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 2:32pm

JR makes some good points, guess I'll wait for Blake's article to hit. We can read it before the party and then get together there and discuss it over a few brews........

Blake Sebring
Sun, 05/16/2010 - 3:11pm

Thanks, JR.

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 7:19pm

Sorry Blake ;)