Colin Chaulk vs. Bryan Smolinski
Chaulk is the IHLs best defensive forward. Hell have to be especially crafty going against Smolinski, a veteran of 1,179 NHL games, who has two goals and nine points in the playoffs. Chaulk makes his linemates, Matt Syroczynski and Justin Hodgman, better. Smolinski does the same for Jamie Schaafsma and John Mori.
Kevin Bertram vs. Pascal Rheaume
The Generals other player with NHL credentials is Rheaume, who has played 363 NHL games and won a Stanley Cup with New Jersey. He isnt afraid to work the middle of the ice or the corners, and hes best dealt with through physical play. Thats where Bertram comes in. He is the Komets most bruising defenseman. If hes able to block Rheaumes shooting and passing lanes, Bertram will do the Komets a huge service.
Leo Thomas vs. Jake Pence
When Thomas scored in the Komets last series, they won. When he didnt, they lost. Pretty simple: The Komets second-line center must affect games, and he does that with his speed. Pence, who played for the Komets last season, knows what Thomas is all about. Pence is a dependable stay-at-home defenseman. And his knowledge of the Komets forwards makes him an integral part of the Generals chances of containing Fort Wayne.
Prediction: Komets in six games.