Komets goaltender Kevin Reiter had an important meeting to go to Friday morning, and it had nothing to do with breaking down the team's upcoming playoff opponent, the CHL-champion Rapid City Rush.
Reiter had to plead with coach Al Sims to give him a couple days off so he could head to St. Paul, Minn., for the NCAA hockey championship game, where his brother, Ken, will be in net Saturday for Minnesota Duluth against Michigan.
"I feel like I've got to be there, to be honest with you," said Kevin Reiter, who is in his second season with the Komets.
And his wish was soon granted.
Minnesota Duluth (25-10-6) beat Notre Dame 4-3 on Thursday -- Ken Reiter had 31 saves -- while Michigan (29-10-4) defeated top-ranked North Dakota 2-0.
Michigan has a NCAA-record nine championships. Minnesota Duluth has only been in the finals once, losing to Bowling Green in 1984.
"I probably wouldn't tell (Ken) I'm coming," Kevin Reiter said. "I'd probably just see him afterward. For some reason, having visitors can change your game for some people. My parents came to the last game of our (regular) season, when I (got yanked) against Colorado."
Nervous Komets fans often plea with Kevin Reiter to stay in the net, but he said: "My brother is actually a little more active with the puck. He can fire it."
Ken Reiter, 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, went 15-7-5 with a 2.32 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage in the regular season.
"He wanders a lot (from the crease)," said Kevin Reiter, who in the offseason dumps pucks into the defensive zone for his brother to work on his puck-moving skills. "The trapezoid isn't in effect in college hockey, so you will see him come out all the time. Sometimes he gets burned little bit. But his team relies on him now; he's like a third defenseman back there."
Kevin Reiter, 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, played collegiately at Alaska-Anchorage, and he was the IHL's Goaltender of the Year with Fort Wayne in 2007-08.
He was 18-15-6 with a 2.96 GAA and a .905 save percentage this regular season, but he didn't play in the Komets' first-round sweep of the Bloomington PrairieThunder, when Nick Boucher was in net for Fort Wayne. That set up the best-of-five series between the Komets, who won the last three IHL championships, and Rapid City, which starts Friday in South Dakota.
Kevin Reiter wanted to be at the victory over Notre Dame -- St. Paul is two and a half hours south of Duluth -- but he couldn't get a rental car and make the drive in time.
"I was jumping around the house. I bet I was more nervous than (Ken) was," Kevin Reiter said. "He's got a chance to play for a national championship and it's surreal."