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ECHL Conference semifinals
Cincinnati at Komets
Faceoff: 7:30 p.m.
Radio: WOWO, 1190-AM
By the time the Fort Wayne Komets had gotten home late Saturday night, they had already forgotten their Game 2 loss to Cincinnati and started looking forward to tonight's Game 3. Everyone develops a short-term memory during the postseason.
As much as they hated it, the loss might have been good for them.
"You have to grow from that,'' captain Kaleigh Schrock said. "Especially with the success we had in the first series, things are not going to get any easier. Guys need to understand that it's only going to get harder each game. You don't ever roll through the playoffs. If you sweep somebody, you grind those games out. Cincinnati is a team where even if you outplay them, they are still going to be in the game because they are so opportunistic. Even if you outplay them, it's not good enough unless you limit you mistakes.''
So the Komets concentrated in practice on fixing those mistakes. They worked on power play and penalty kill, getting traffic in front of the net and transition offense to get ready for the 7:30 p.m. faceoff at Memorial Coliseum. The Komets won the first game 2-1, and the Cyclones came back the next night to win 5-2.
"It's like after any time you win a game, you flush it and go back to work the next day,'' alternate captain Chris Auger said. "We let it sink in for a little bit on Saturday night after the loss and the next day is back to normal. You have to flush that as much as you flush a win. Everything is back to normal now.''
Now both teams have had four days to tweak strategy. These practices are particularly important because the Komets and Cyclones could play five times over the next seven days, which means there won't be much time to work on specific tactics or take days off.
"When you win four straight playoff games, you get your confidence going and then they take it to us, it's a humbling experience,'' Komets coach Gary Graham said. "It wasn't very had to get the guys to refocus, especially at this time of year..''
Games 4 and 5 will be played Saturday and Sunday in Fort Wayne, and Games 6 and 7 would be played Tuesday and Wednesday in Cincinnati if necessary.
As expected, the goaltenders have dominated so far. Cincinnati's Rob Madore has a 2.01 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in the series, and the Komets' Ben Meisner has a 2.53 goals-against average and .909 save percentage. The Cyclones' Byron Froese leads the skaters with three points. Wade Megan and Josh Shalla both have two goals.
"It seems like one negative equals four positives, and it feels like that a lot of times when you lose a game and you get down on yourself,'' defenseman Simon Danis-Pepin said. "We've been on a pretty good roll over our last 15 games, so that loss is flushed right now and we have to come back and focus on the next game. We have a lot of guys with experience who know how to win games, and we're ready to go.''