Guy Dupuis vs. Mickael Bedard
Dupuis, the Komets 39-year-old captain, remains one of the IHLs best defensemen at both ends. That savvy will be at a premium in this series against the Icehawks skilled forwards, namely Bedard, who led his team in goals (35) and points (73) and was selected as the IHLs top rookie. A speedy, crafty player, the Komets will have to keep Bedard to the outside and read the plays before he makes them. Dupuis doesnt have the speed, but hes a master of anticipation.
Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock vs. Mike Kinnie
Kinnie is an explosive player – he has 26 goals and 39 points in 36 games – but hes also susceptible to making mistakes. He has a minus-1 rating. Schrock, though just a rookie, is a tenacious forechecker who makes things happen at both ends and on the penalty kill. Schrock is the kind of player who, if you let your guard down, will make you pay. He has 20 goals in 76 games and could take some of the Icehawks top forwards by surprise over a long series.
Colin Chaulk vs. Kevin Hansen
Chaulk won the IHLs outstanding defensive forward award this season, but he does his best work in the offensive zone, where he led the Komets with 27 goals and 85 points. The thing that sets about Chaulk apart is his tenacity and ability to outsmart opponents who are bigger and faster than him. Hansen, who won a Cup with the Komets in 2008, should have a better read than most on how to contain Chaulk in the corners. When Hansen plays physically, hes one of the best defensemen in the league, and this series could help prove that – if hes fully recovered from a crushed vertebra in his back, which kept him out about three months.
Prediction: Komets in 6