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Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
The Komets captured the franchise’s ninth championship in 60 years by defeating Wichita to win the Presidents’ Cup.

Crowning moment

Latest title adds to legacy for some; others experience 1st championship

– For some of the players, it was a familiar feeling to take a lap around the Coliseum ice with a championship trophy hoisted above their head. But for defenseman Jamie Lovell, who was in his seventh professional hockey season, it was an unparalleled thrill.

“There’s no way to describe it. Absolutely no way,” Lovell said after the Komets defeated Wichita 6-3 Monday night in front of 9,560 fans to complete a five-game victory in the Presidents’ Cup finals.

It was the ninth championship for the Komets in their 60 years and their fourth title in the last five years. The Komets have won championships in both incarnations of the IHL, the UHL and the CHL.

Winning a championship was old hat for coach Al Sims and captain Colin Chaulk, both of whom have won five titles with Fort Wayne. Five other players helped the Komets to their Turner Cups in the IHL between 2008 and 2010.

Brett Smith and Jamie Milam won the Presidents’ Cup in 2011 with now-defunct Bossier-Shreveport.

But there was a cast of newcomers that made this Cup possible, including playoff MVP Mike Vaskivuo, offensive stars Bobby Chaumont and Chris Auger, and rookies Jean-Michel Rizk, Stephon Thorne, Tom Mele, Bryant Molle and Daniel Maggio.

And then there was Lovell, 29, who had played for Port Huron when it coughed up 3-1 series leads to Fort Wayne in the 2008 IHL finals and 2010 semifinals.

“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” he said. “I’m on the right side for it this time. I was on the wrong side of it for a couple of years against these guys, and had to join forces with them to get it.”