For Friday night, at least, the Komets did exactly what they said they would do.
They gave the kid a break.
With fresh-out-of-college Matt Grogan between the pipes down in Charleston, S.C., the Komets put seven pucks behind South Carolina goaltender Jeff Jakaitis and claimed a crucial road victory in their fight to make the playoffs, winning 7-4 in North Charleston Coliseum.
The victory, coupled with Florida’s loss to Cincinnati, left the Komets two points ahead of the Everblades for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Komets (32-23-6-5) outshot the Stingrays (38-22-2-4) 30-19, including 13-5 in the second period, when they scored four goals to take command. Brandon Marino and Aaron Clarke scored two goals apiece, and Joe Hartman, Mike Embach and Kenton Miller added singles as the Komets gave young Grogan plenty of cushion.
A dozen Komets picked up at least a point in the victory – including Grogan, who was credited with an assist on Clarke’s second goal.
That came at 15:31 of the second, in the middle of a decisive flurry for the visitors. Clarke got it going with his first goal at 3:47, and then Hartman (7:54), Clarke again and Embach (18:27) followed.