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K's start and finish it, then criticize Kromm

Their 3-1victory certainly was interesting

The Komets are taking responsiblity for what started the fracases that resulted in two players leaving the penalty boxes, in one of the most interesting scenes I can remember.

Brad MacMillan conceded that some rough play on Robin Bouchard is probably what got the Lumberjacks going in the first place during the Komets' 3-1 victory Friday.

But the Komets are insensed at the tactics of Lumberjacks coach Rich Kromm, who sent out enforcers like Robin Big Snake and Jason Lawmaster to go after Colin Chaulk and Konstantin Shafranov.

That's what set off MacMillan, who left the box to fight Lawmaster, tossing a linesman aside in the process. Big Snake later left the box too, but unsuccessfully tried to egg MacMillan into a fight. Look for both to get suspensions in the 15-to-20 game range.

"I'm pretty sure Muskegon's coach had a good idea what would happen when he sent those guys out. I regret pushing the linesman, but that's about it," said MacMillan, who apologized to Peter Cichy during the first intermission. "Someone had to do something. You can't allow guys like Big Snake and Lawmaster to do those things. .... If you're going to play that role, at least be honest. You don't have to jump guys. I'm sure there would have been willing combatants out there."

Fort Wayne caoch Al Sims never mentioned Kromm by name, but said this: "Obviously, players on the Muskegon bench were told something – I don't know by whom – and they went out and did what someone told them to do. They didn't do that on their own. Or, it's the first time in 15 years someone's done it on their own. That's the last time I saw something like that."

Komets left wing P.C. Drouin said he noticed what was about to happen and was warning Chaulk that he was about to get blindsided by Big Snake, which happened.

"I didn't know it was going to get that bad," Drouin said. "We started it by taking some sort of shot at Bouchard, so they retaliated. That can get ugly. ... But the game stayed (scoreless) and I think that's why there weren't too many fisticuffs after that."

The Komets did get three power-play goals from Blair Stayzer, Drouin and Matt Woodard, and the last laugh in the process.

As for my three stars of tonight's game: First star, Colin Chaulk, who set up two goals; Second star, Nick Boucher, who foiled several odd-man rushes early for Fort Wayne; Third star, Sebastien Centomo, who made 35 saves for Muskegon.

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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