Brett Smith looked a little different tonight, and not just because he scored twice in regulation time and once in the shootout that didn't seem to want to end at Memorial Coliseum
His long hair was gone.
"(The hair) was getting a little bit annoying," Smith said, after the Komets' 4-3 victory over the Evansville IceMen on Saturday night.
"But at the same time, I just wanted to change things up. With the way the first game (a 5-0 loss to Evansville) had gone, I thought, 'Let's change it up a little bit.' It sure did work. After that first period, the guys just started to click a little bit and do the little things. We've got a lot of talented guys and when we're working hard, things are going to work for us."
Also scoring for the Komets was Artem Podshendyalov, who also found the net in the shootout, winning it in the 11th round.
- A note about the controversy after that. The IceMen wanted to use Todd Robinson, who had scored in the second round. They were forced to use Matt Gens, who had scored in the first round. According to a CHL supervisor of officials, referee Brent Sheva got it correct. You cannot change the order after the 10th shooter.
- Click here to see Laura J. Gardner's photos of Guy Dupuis' jersey retirement ceremony and the game.
- Newly re-signed defenseman Brent Henley made a difference; his fight with Mike Sgroi helped get the Komets going when they were down 2-0. "It's been so quick," said Henley, who was signed Friday. "I just kind of got settled in at the rink by playing. I love playing here. Always have, always will. I still don't even know what's going on. I'm in a different time zone. My clothes aren't even here yet." Henley began the season with Utah of the ECHL.
- What was with Evansville goalie Pier-Olivier Pelletier not covering the puck? Both Smith goals came with him plucking the puck out from under the goalie and whacking it in. Pelletier stopped 29 of 32 shots and 8 of 11 shootout attempts. Fort Wayne's Nick Boucher stopped 24 of 27 shots and 9 of 11 in the shootout, though he looked awfully shaky on the first two in the shootout.
- The Podshendyalov goal in regulation was amazing. He rushed the net and lifted a backhand just underneath the cross bar. The Jesse Bennefield shootout goal was also amazing, but in a different way. He made it looked like he lost control of the puck before blasting it in.
- Did anyone else notice how woeful the Komets' passing was in the 4-on-4 overtime? They really need to get crisper in that area.
- But overall, this was a much better performance than the opener. I'm not convinced, however, that Evansville is all that good, so the Komets better not get lulled into thinking their problems are remotely over.
- By the way, the photo of the guy in the Spaceman costume is of fan Bruce Ryan.
- And now I'm off to turn 36.