It was a long night, thanks to that 45-minute pregame gala, but the Komets gave the fans what they came for with a 2-1 victory over the Bloomington PrairieThunder.
It was impressive to see some of the youngsters perform so well for the Komets. There's a lot of pressure watching a championship banner go up, in front of a sellout crowd of 10,511, knowing that Sean O'Connor will take someone's job in the coming days.
Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock and Tomas Klempa, two players who have to prove they're worthy of staying, scored the goals.
"There was a lot of nervousness out there at the start," Komets coach Al Sims said. "But we got scoring from two kids, Schrock and Klempa, who need to show what they can do, that they're valuable and that they want to be here. Both of them had strong games and played well."
We know by now that Schrock is an energy player. He will hit, grind, fight and score. Klempa, we learned in his Fort Wayne debut, is a tenacious forechecker with a nose for the puck.
Let's not forget to laud Nick Boucher, though, who stopped 35 of 36 shots for the Komets.
My three stars from tonight's game: 1) Tomas Klempa, who led the offense; 2) Nick Boucher, who was solid from start to finish; 3) Paulo Colaiacovo, who lived up to his billing as Bloomington's goalie tonight.
The Komets have won 13 of their last 15 home openers.