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Ice Chips

  • Postgame reaction, video from Komets 3-2 victory
      KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- I'm not going to say these have been the best three games I've seen the Komets play to start a season -- and I've covered 18 seasons -- but this has to be the most exciting season-opening set I've seen.
  • Komets beat Kalamazoo
    KALAMAZOO, Mich. – In what had become a heated game, Shawn Szydlowski capped a 3-2 overtime victory for the Komets on Friday by stealing the puck in the Kalamazoo Wings zone and then sending a wrist shot past the goal with 49 seconds remaining.
  • Penalty shot foiled, K's tied at 2
    KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The Komets and Kalamazoo Wings are tied at 2 after two periods at Wings Stadium.

That was Chaulk's 1st win

The Komets' 4-2 victory tonight was the last of the 2012-13 season, but the first of Colin Chaulk's head-coaching career.

In a manner of speaking.

Head coach Al Sims allowed his assistant, Chaulk, to run the show before and during the game, and he helped them snap a five-game losing streak.

"It was Colin's turn tonight," said Sims, who let former assistant coach Gary Graham do the same last season.

"He had the (pregame) meeting and it was all about how you want to be remembered as a player and what your legacy should be, and it was pretty good. We went around the room with a lot of players, and guys talked about it, and Colin will be a good head coach one day. He got his first win tonight. I was the assistant and it was fun for Colin to get that opportunity."

Chaulk wasn't in the lineup because of the nerve issues he continues to battle, fallout from the staph infection in his foot. He has trouble lifting his arm, muscle weakness and weight loss.

The Komets' longtime captain hopes to get healthy enough by July to make a determination about his playing future.

But he wants to coach someday, perhaps in Fort Wayne, where the Komets have missed the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

"I will be a head coach. It's going to happen someday. It's not a possibility. It's a certainty," said Chaulk, after Thomas Beauregard scored twice, and Matt Syroczynski and Jamie Milam also scored, in front of 9,919 fans at the Coliseum.

Sims' job will be evaluated now – as will all the players' – but general manager David Franke said the team will take weeks, not days, before making any decisions.

"It's time for everybody to react now, and we'll see what happens this summer," Chaulk said.

Here are the awards ...

MVP: Brandon Marino

Rookie of the Year: Matt Firman

Defenseman of the Year: Tyler Butler

Stonewall Defensive Forward: Jean-Michel Rizk

Most Improved Player: Ryan Hegarty

Unsung Hero: Brett Smith

Mr. Hustle: Brandon Marino

"True Komet": Brett Smith

Gallmeier Community Service: Charlie Effinger

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at