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The Fort Wayne Komets are such a longshot to make the playoffs, they'd need to start with a slingshot around the sun to have a chance of catching up.
But, they are still having fun. The Komets have scored 22 goals over their last three home games to build their first three-game Memorial Coliseum winning streak of the season.
The Komets pounded last-place and short-handed Evansville 8-5 on Sunday. Toledo and Elmira also won, so the Komets are still 10 points out of the final playoff spot in the ECHL's Eastern Conference with six games left. Their next loss or single wins by Toledo or Elmira will eliminate the Komets.
``We know how tough it's going to be, but you can't dwell on that,'' Komets leading scorer Brandon Marino said. ``You just try to play your best every night and try to win every game that you can. If the cards don't lay right, at least we know we worked hard and did everything we could.''
Friday's 3-2 loss in Kalamazoo essentially kills the Komets' postseason chances. Because they are so far behind in points, the Komets don't even have much chance to play spoiler when they play two games at Elmira next weekend or host Toledo on March 27.
All they can really do is play the game that is in front of them and quit worrying about what might happen involving everyone else. It's an odd position for the Komets to be in after making the playoffs every year since 1997.
``There's always things to work on,'' forward Matt Syroczynski said. ``Until they tell us we're out, we'll keep working.''
Syroczynski scored two goals and added an assist and defenseman Nick Schaus passed three assists to lead the onslaught against IceMen goaltender James Reid. Evansville was already out of sorts because the front office allowed leading scorer and captain Todd Robinson to leave for the Central Hockey League before the game in what might be the final chance at a championship before he retires.
The Komets peppered Reid with a season-high 50 shots to score the eight goals.
``We scored three rebound goals last time we played him on Wednesday, and we were going to go to the net hard and put things off him and try to finish,'' Komets coach Al Sims said.
They treated Reid like like a punching bag clown in a kindergarten class, and his defense gave him little help.
Marino and Nick Wheeler added two assists and Ryan Hegarty and Thomas Beauregard each had a goal and an assist.
``Yeah, we're kind of finding our game at home, and it's nice for our fans to see us win at home,'' Marino said. ``It's late in the year, but better late than never. Hopefully, we keep that going until the end of the year, and you never know what can happen in the playoff race. It's going to be tough, but hopefully we'll be good for the fans the last six games, and we'll see what happens.''