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Ice Chips

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Vegas baby! K's get 1st win.

Gary Graham got his first victory as coach of the Komets, as they defeated the Las Vegas Wranglers 3-1 at Orleans arena on Friday night.

After coughing up leads in each of their first three games – and going 0-1-2 in those games – the Komets weren't about to let go of the 3-1 lead they built by 19 minutes of the second period.

Forward Scott Fleming opened the scoring for Fort Wayne at 2:49 of the second period, and forward Chris Auger put one of his game-leading eight shots into the net for a 2-0 lead at 4:50.

Las Vegas' Robbie Smith answered at 17:39, but Fort Wayne forward Mickey Lang netted a power-play goal at 19:00.

Fort Wayne's newest player, goaltender Andrey Makarov, who was sent to the Komets by the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, stopped 26 shots.

Wranglers goaltender Mitch O'Keefe turned away 36 shots, in the first of three straight games between the teams this weekend.

Las Vegas dropped to 2-5-0 under rookie coach/general manager Mike Madill, who was still playing for the Wranglers last season as their captain.

Komets defenseman Simon Danis-Pepin fought twice in the game, dropping the gloves with Brian Nugent and Geoff Paukovich.

A crowd of 5,196 attended the game.

Notes: Goaltender Max Strang, who was released by the Komets on Thursday, stopped all 36 shots he faced in 46:25 of work for Bloomington of the Southern Professional Hockey League. In the 4-0 victory over Fayetteville, he fought goalie Dan Dunn.

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 jcohn@jg.net.

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