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Komets

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Depth proved to be vital factor in K’s latest title

– Perhaps the most amazing facet of the Komets’ run to the Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup was that everyone played a big part in it.

Every non-goaltender who played scored a goal except defenseman David Starenky, who was limited to six of the 18 playoff games because of a shoulder injury, and rookie forward Derek Roehl, who played only once.

Sixteen players scored a total of 71 goals in the six-game victory over Rapid City, the seven-game victory over Missouri and the five-game finals victory over Wichita.

“It’s unbelievable,” forward Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock said. “Look at our whole team; we didn’t have a weakness.”

Even the Komets’ 10th forward, Tom Mele, contributed some of the biggest hits of the postseason along with two goals and three assists. His crossing pass, while falling to the ice, set up Bobby Chaumont for the final goal Monday and was one of the most picturesque plays of the Komets’ season.

“Mele makes great passes,” Schrock said. “Our defensemen were all great. (Goaltender Nick) Boucher made the big saves when we needed them.

“Every line could score goals and every line could play well defensively. It was really fun to watch when we worked hard.”

The Komets were led offensively by the line of playoff MVP Mike Vaskivuo, Chris Auger and Colin Chaulk, who combined for 26 goals.

The second line of Chaumont, Brett Smith and Leo Thomas had 13 goals.

The third line of Schrock, Jean-Michel Rizk and Stephon Thorne totaled 14 goals.

“That’s what good teams are made of – depth – and it’s huge in the playoffs,” said Frankie DeAngelis, who led Fort Wayne’s defensemen with four goals, 14 points and a plus-9 rating.

“Our third line was huge in the playoffs. They changed the momentum a lot, gave us energy and got us back into games.”

It was the Komets’ fourth championship in the last five years and the ninth in 60 years of Komets hockey, but not many of those teams had as many players contribute as this one.

“We had three good lines,” Vaskivuo said. “We had a grind line, a line that can score and a line that can grind and score. Our line was counted on for the production. Once we were going, everyone else looked to get on the train, and it was a good thing.”

jcohn@jg.net

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