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From proposal to fantastic hockey

See the highlights of the Komets much-needed 4-2 victory over the Florida Everblades. Nov. 30, 2013.

Southorn, Reichard lead K's

You had to like defenseman Jordon Southorn, who had two goals for the Komets. And you really had to like goaltender Cody Reichard, who stopped 37 shots in a surprise start.

And the Komets defeated the Florida Everblades 4-2 at Memorial Coliseum.

After the morning skate today, Southorn walked into coach Gary Graham's office and told him, "Hey, last night, that was the worst game you're going to see from me all season."

He sure backed that up, eh?

(Check out the above video of highlights, including the too-cute-for-words pre-game proposal. And click here to see pictures from the game.)

"I definitely wouldn't expect two goals from me every night, but I'd like to contribute a little offense here and there," Southorn, 23, said. "Speaking with Gary, I think we're a little more focused on the defensive aspect of the game. There are a lot of skill guys here who can put the puck in the net and two solid goaltenders. I just want to contribute defensively and hopefully we can get those close games and get the wins."

Why did Reichard get the start after losing 4-0 at Kalamazoo, Mich., on Friday?

"It's a gut feeling," Graham said. "Obviously, we acquired his rights through Florida (last summer) and there was something a little bit there. But Reichard and I have kind of been talking and he needs to get in more games to get going. It's sort of like the situation last season here, where goalies couldn't get in a rhythym.

"(Andrey) Makarov has been playing a lot and I felt like (Friday) night, we didn't play very well in front of Cody and it could have easily been 7-0 or 8-0 at Kalamazoo. I know the boys wanted to play well in front of him and he was deserving of the start and played great."

Fort Wayne (7-7-2) pulled to .500 at the Coliseum at 3-3-3. Florida (13-5-2) came into the game a masterful 10-2-0 on the road.

Notes: Nick Tuzzolino made his debut with the Rochester Americans in a 3-2 loss to Toronto on Saturday. He fought Andrew MacWilliam in the first five minutes. … Pat Conacher, the director of hockey operations for the AHL's Utica Comets, scouted the Komets game.

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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