Hockey players have long memories. So even though 13 days have passed since the Komets brawls against the Muskegon Lumberjacks, its still a topic of conversation in the Fort Wayne locker room.
Guys on this team, everyone remembers. Nobodys going to forget what happened, Fort Wayne tough guy Blair Stayzer said of the events in the 3-1 victory over the Lumberjacks on Oct. 31.
There were two melees in that game. The second one was incited when Muskegons Robin Big Snake cross-checked Colin Chaulk after a faceoff and began pummeling him, and then the Lumberjacks Jason Lawmaster jumped Konstantin Shafranov.
That prompted Fort Waynes Brad MacMillan to leave the penalty box and toss aside a linesman to fight Lawmaster. Big Snake left the penalty box and was overly physical with an official, too, as he tried to get at MacMillan.
MacMillan got a 15-game suspension. Big Snake got 12 games.
On Sunday, for the first time since the brawls, the Komets (5-2-0) and Lumberjacks (5-3-1) will meet at L.C. Walker Arena in Michigan. Itll be the third game in as many days for the Komets, often the recipe for a toned-down match.
This could bring something different.
Its either going to be a Sunday yawner, or its going to get stupid. Its going to be one extreme or the other, said Komets coach Al Sims, whose team downed the Lumberjacks in the Turner Cup Finals last spring.
The general feeling among several of Sims players is that someone has to send a message to Lawmaster, who received only a fine from the league. But they said if a fight happens, itll be early on and then the game will be played. The most likely candidates to challenge Lawmaster would be Stayzer or Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock.
I didnt think Lawmaster was like that, Stayzer said. I played junior (hockey) against him, and he seemed like a pretty stand-up guy. He always seemed to be a fair guy when it came to fighting and having respect. But it was embarrassing what he did.
A more interesting game could be Dec. 26, when MacMillan and Big Snake might be on the ice against each another for the first time after their suspensions.
Big Snake is an idiot. Everybody in this league knows that. Guys on his team know that, said Stayzer, who added that things should cool down since Fort Wayne and Muskegon play 10 more times.
Im sure there will be a few fights or something (Sunday). It is what it is. But we could go back and forth all year and what good would that do? Thered just be constant suspensions, and it has to stop sometime. But they made themselves look like complete idiots (Oct. 31).
Before they travel to Muskegon, the Komets play host to Quad City and Dayton, hoping to improve their defensive play. Even though Fort Waynes defense ranks first, giving up 2.71 goals per game, it has been bailed out by the goaltending of Nick Boucher and Tim Haun.
Muskegon is off Saturday.