Center Colin Chaulk's reputation as one of the greatest two-way forwards to ever play for the Komets continues to grow. Tim Haun's ascension as an elite goaltender is complete.
Chaulk, 33, who leads the Komets in scoring with 83 points in 68 games, was selected as the IHL's Oustanding Defensive Forward on Wednesday. Haun, who began the season battling just to grab a spot on the roster, was selected as the IHL's Goaltender of the Year.
Both honors were chosen by coaches, general managers and reporters.
It's the fourth time Chaulk has received the league-wide honor with the Komets. When they skated in the United Hockey League, he was named Best Defensive Forward in 2003, 2004 and 2006.
Between Chaulk and teammate David Hukalo, the Komets have had the top defensive forward in their league six of the past eight seasons.
This season, Chaulk has a plus-34 rating, which is tied for best in the IHL with Mickael Bedard of Port Huron. Regarded as one of the top faceoff men in the IHL, Chaulk has also netted one short-handed goal.
He has helped the Komets to the top defensive rating in the league, as they allow only 2.42 goals per game. And their penalty-killing unit also ranks first with an efficiency of 86.9 percent.
"You know, I went over to Europe (for 2006-07) and then when I came back, I think I had to earn my stripes back," Chaulk said. "I definitely thank my linemates and my penalty-killing partner, (Lincoln) Kaleigh Schrock, and the entire defense. It's a team effort to get this award and I take pride in it."
Haun, 29, is 25-11-2 and leads the league in goals-against average (2.26), save percentage (.922) and is tied for the IHL lead with three shutouts, after spending most of last season in the lower-level Southern Professional Hockey League.
Haun, who couldn't be reached for comment, was thrust into the starting job early in the season because of injuries to Nick Boucher, but Haun has missed the last 11 games with a concussion and his status to be put on the playoff roster is in doubt.
"We are always talking about taking care of the puck in your own end," Chaulk said. "And the best defense is when you're on the attack. We try to do a good job of getting the puck deep, carrying it deep and keeping it out of our end. Both Haun and Bouch have done an excellent job back there taking care of business."
The Komets (48-21-4), who have won back-to-back playoff titles, are barely clinging to hopes of winning a fourth straight regular-season championship. Muskegon needs to gain only one point, or for the Komets to not take a possible point, for the Lumberjacks to win the Huber Trophy and get home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Komets play at Quad City (28-35-11) on Friday night. They play host to the Mallards on Saturday, when Chaulk and Haun will receive their trophies in a pregame ceremony.