The 8,222 fans at Memorial Coliseum didnt get the show they expected. There was no Brad MacMillan vs. Robin Big Snake fracas.
But the bitter rivals were no less intense.
And the Komets defeated the Muskegon Lumberjacks 4-2 on Saturday.
The game had been hyped as the one in which the score from Halloween would finally be settled. On that brawl-filled night, MacMillan left the penalty box to fight and tossed aside a referee, drawing a 15-game suspension. Big Snake acted similarly, exchanged plenty of words with MacMillan, and he got 12 games.
Saturday would have been the first time theyd been on the ice together, but Big Snake didnt make the trip. On his Facebook page, he said hed demanded a trade, after tallying only four points and 92 penalty minutes in 18 games.
There were still two fights, as MacMillan and Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock both got into it with Russ Smith, and Tim Hauns 41-save performance was memorable.
When youre busy, you try and stay focused. Thats the good thing about being busy. Youre in the zone and trying to stop everything coming your way, said Haun, whose Komets (19-11-2) are on a 4-0-1 run and seven points back of second-place Muskegon.
Were starting to climb the ladder. Weve turned that corner. Guys are (working) hard at both ends. Its almost midseason, we got over the hump, and were heading to the top here.
The Komets top line of Schrock, Colin Chaulk and Konstantin Shafranov accounted for all four goals and seven points.
The Komets opened the scoring on the games first shot. On a 3-on-2 rush, Schrock sent a pass to Chaulk in the right circle, from where he sent a blistering wrist shot above the glove of goaltender Sebastien Centomo. Chaulk is riding a seven-game point-scoring streak.
The puck is going in for him, Komets coach Al Sims said. Hes getting things to the net, and hes got confidence in his shot. Hes putting the puck where goal-scorers put the puck, right in the top corner. Hes got a hot hand right now, and Im encouraging him to shoot right now because the puck is going in for him.
Muskegon right wing Robin Bouchard, the IHLs leading scorer, netted a power-play goal from the right circle at 13:14 of the first period.
Bouchard is 29 goals shy of breaking Kevin Kerrs mark of 682, the most in the history of minor-league hockey.
The Komets got a power-play goal of their own at 14:22 of the second period, when Shafranovs high shot from the right circle was redirected underneath the goalie by Chaulk.
Shafranov made it 3-1 at 7:14 of the third period, with a big assist to defenseman Bobby Phillips, who had taken a shot, gotten his own rebound, then tried a wraparound attempt, which sent another rebound onto the stick of Shafranov.
Muskegon right wing J.T. Dahlinger tucked a rebound into the net at 12:06, but Schrock answered with an empty-net goal. Fort Wayne was outshot 43-28.