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Ice Chips

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    The Komets wanted their defense to improve, and it has. But the offense has disappeared.The Komets lost 3-1 Saturday to the Greenville Road Warriors, in front of 7,368 fans at Memorial Coliseum, and they’ve scored only four goals in
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Sam Hoffman/The Journal Gazette
Chris Auger tries to maintain control of the puck in a 2-1 victory over the Toledo Walleye.

K's slip past Walleye

Auger's goal the difference in 2-1 win

The Komets spent most of the game peppering the Toledo goaltender with shots.

But they beat Hannu Toivonen only twice.

It was enough in a 2-1 victory at Memorial Coliseum, after the Komets outshot the Walleye 46-19 on Sunday.

"I think we threw everything but the kitchen sink at him tonight," said Chris Auger, who had the game-winning goal. "For everything Toledo is not, their goaltending has to be the best in the league. Hannu Toivonen is unbelievable. And the way he competes, giving everyone in front of him (a chance), it's just amazing and it took a full 60 minutes and everything we had to get two pucks by him."

Steven Summerhays, the former Notre Dame standout, made his professional debut for the Komets but allowed a goal 22 seconds into the first period when defenseman C.J. Chartrain scored off a rebound for the Walleye.

Summerhays is the ninth goalie to play for the Komets, the most they've used in any of their 62 seasons.

The Komets went on to tally 20 of the next 24 shots.

They had a great chance to tie it at 4:50, when forward Scott Fleming got the puck just off the right post, but Toivonen, who was on his stomach, deflected it with his glove. One minute later, Toivonen foiled a similar shot by left wing Matt Carter.

Finally, 1:50 into the second period, the Komets solved Toivonen when they unleashed a flurry of shots and Brandon Marino put a backhander into the bottom of the net to tie it at 1.

The game continued to be dominated by an onslaught of Fort Wayne shots and myriad Toivonen saves. After two periods, the Komets had outshot the Walleye 33-11, but it was still tied at 1.

Not until the shots were 46-13, with 1:50 passed in the third period, did the Komets finally break through. At the end of a 3-on-2 rush, Marino sent a cross-ice pass to forward Auger, who wristed the puck from the left circle into the top of the net.

Fort Wayne is on a 4-1-1 surge. Toledo has lost four straight.

The Komets are 7-0-1 against the Walleye this season, led by Marino's six goals and 15 points in eight games. Auger has six goals and 11 points in seven games.

The Komets increased their lead over Florida for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference to four points. Fort Wayne has two games left in the regular season; Florida has three.

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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