FORT WAYNE – It may have seemed crazy when he said it, but it proved to be the ultimate motivation.
It sounds funny, but I think we’ve got them right where we want them, captain Colin Chaulk quipped after the Komets lost the first two games to Missouri in the Turner Conference finals at Memorial Coliseum.
The Komets went on to win Games 3 and 4 at the Independence (Mo.) Events Center and took the series in seven games.
Chaulk had reason for confidence against the Mavericks, who the Komets outshot 82-51 in the first two games.
Fort Wayne dropped Game 1 when Brent Henley knocked the net off its moorings, even though it may have been unintentional, with 19 seconds remaining and the Mavericks were awarded a penalty shot. Ed McGrane scored on the penalty shot – Missouri’s only shot of the third period – and John-Scott Dickson scored in overtime for the 3-2 victory.
The Komets then fell 6-3 in Game 2.
The Komets showed incredible resiliency in Games 3 and 4, getting game-tying goals from Jean-Michel Rizk after giving up early goal.
The 5-4 double-overtime victory in Game 4 was one of the greatest games in franchise history. Fort Wayne coughed up a 3-1 lead; fell behind with 1:04 left in regulation; got a game-tying power-play goal from Jamie Milam just 42 seconds later; and Frankie DeAngelis scored the winner off a crossing pass from Chaulk on a power play.
The Komets were flat in Game 5 at Independence, losing 5-2.
But once back at the Coliseum, the Komets ousted the Mavericks with 4-1 and 6-4 victories.
Against Missouri and Rapid City, those were hard-fought series, DeAngelis said. We went through some adversity that made us better, and we’re just a deep team.
DeAngelis had three goals and eight points against the Mavericks, while Milam had two goals and eight points, as Fort Wayne outshot Missouri 287-230.
Missouri was led by Andrew Courtney’s five goals and 10 points.