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Finally, Komets win home game in overtime

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Vaskivuo scores off nifty pass from Lang

Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 2:44 am

Well, at least the Fort Wayne Komets are always entertaining, though that's not what their coach likes it.

``The way this season is going, if these guys are going to be like this every game this year, if I'm not sick in the hospital or something like that I'll be shocked!'' Gary Graham said. ``Oh, my God, this team will give you every emotion possible!''

And that was after a victory. Yes, finally, a home victory, as the Komets teased 6,834 Memorial Coliseum fans almost to death on Friday night, losing a 3-0 lead and then a 4-3 lead in the final minute to force overtime. They had to win the game three times before they could finally celebrate.

``I'm sure the people here who come and support us said, `Oh, God, here they go again, blowing a lead in the third,' but this was a huge thing for us to bounce back like that,'' forward Mickey Lang said.

Lang set up Mike Vaskivuo with a back-door pass for an easy goal 1:09 into overtime to give the Komets a 5-4 win. It was interesting to see smiles on players' faces in the locker room after they started 0-1-2 in their first three home games. It was also the Komets' first back-to-back wins of the season after they rallied in the third period last Saturday to beat previously unbeaten Cincinnati.

``We found ways to get two points in the third period in Cincy, and we found a way to get two points tonight,'' Graham said.

Chris Auger scored in the first period and then Nik Pokulok and Bobby Hughes in the second before the Walleye scored two goals in the final minute of the second to cause every home fan to reach for the antacid again.

Toledo scored the first two goals of the third period to send everyone into a funk, but Hughes scored a power-play goal to give the Komets a 4-3 lead they protected until the Walleye pulled the goaltender and scored with 57 seconds remaining.

The winning goal didn't make Graham or the Komets think everything is suddenly perfect. They did blow the two leads in a game that could have controlled throughout. At least they didn't lock up and lose again for fear of making the wrong play. Instead, Lang made the right play, grabbing a rebound of a William Lacasse shot, faking a pass to the point and feeding Vaskivuo.

``I knew he was in that area, but I was looking at the points first,'' Lang said. ``I saw him backdoor, and I knew if I could get it to him it would be a tap-in. Thank God it went in because him and Hughesy gave me 100 good passes tonight and I just couldn't put it in the net.''

As Vaskivuo said, ``He just showed a lot of brilliant patience there tonight. I know he had a defenseman on him but he made a great play. I shot that one with my eyes closed so it was a great play by everybody.''

Maybe it was exactly the type of game and play the Komets needed, proving to themselves they could win a tight one at home where they play their next three games.

``It's big for us just to get on a streak, get the confidence going with back-to-back wins and four points in two games,'' Graham said. ``Winning teams can get hot and can get contagious and that's what we're looking for.''