Komets goaltender Tim Haun saw the Quad City Mallards’ Patrick Levesque gliding toward the left dasher boards during he shootout Saturday night, and he knew what was coming.
He’d seen fellow goaltender Nick Boucher fall victim to this move the night before, when Levesque won the game by streaking from the left side, tucking the puck between his legs, pulling it back out and whacking it just inside the right post.
Haun wasn’t going to let it come to that. He dived from the comfort of the goal crease and poked the puck away from Levesque, who never had a chance to deke, dazzle or defeat the Komets.
One round later, Fort Wayne’ Guy Dupuis wristed the puck past Kyle Jones and the Komets had their 2-1 victory in a game that was meaningless except for one, big thing – Haun showed he’s back in the form that got him IHL Goaltender of the Year honors this season.
As soon as (Levesque) went wide, I knew he was going to try and do something fancy, Haun said. As soon as you see someone come down that low, you take your chances, knowing that he’s probably going to come across the ice. I just wanted to take away that ice.
Haun, who had missed the previous 12 games because of a concussion, erased any belief that he might be left off the playoff roster when the second-seeded Komets open their Turner Cup semifinal series Thursday against the visiting Port Huron Icehawks.
Haun stopped 29 of 30 shots and all three shootout attempts he faced.
It looks like he got right back up to speed. He was right on it, from the very first save of the game to the last in the shootout. Timmy’s definitely back mentally and physically, looked good, Fort Wayne coach Al Sims said. Sims declined to say whether he’ll go with Haun or Boucher, who has backstopped the Komets to back-to-back Turner Cups, when the playoffs open.
First, the Komets must close out the regular season today against the Flint Generals, who are tied with Bloomington for the final playoff spot. Bloomington plays at Port Huron.
On Saturday, Haun was foiled but once in front of 8,380 fans at Memorial Coliseum.
That answered an earlier goal from Fort Wayne defenseman Brandon Warner.
There was furious action in the overtime, when the Komets had to successfully kill off a 5-on-3 power play, and the Mallards’ Tyler Kindle sent a shot off the right post.