It took all of one night for Mitch Woods to become a fan-favorite. He was given a standing ovation at the end of the game, a 3-1 Komets victory over the Bloomington Prairie Thunder.
And with comments like the following, he'll continue to be one: "If the fans like my style, then of course I'm going to take that," Woods said. "I'm public enemy in every single rink in the league except for my own."
Woods was in the middle of an 11-player fracas -- he's lucky he didn't get thrown out for being an aggressor -- and he got a three-minute power play for his team by dogging Jamison Orr into dropping his gloves, and Woods scored a goal.
Not bad for a rookie, who came to the Komets on the recommendation of former Fort Wayne coach Pat Bingham, who watched him in training camp with Bridgeport of the American Hockey League. The comparison was to Pascal Morency.
In regards to the fracas -- you can see video in the post previous to this one -- I don't know why Bloomington goalie Loic Lacasse didn't get a penalty for leaving the crease or for being the third man in a fight. He did throw a couple punches at Woods.
For the most part, the game was a good one for Fort Wayne -- it outshot Bloomington 42-26 -- but aside from the fights, the first period was a snoozer.
Are you a believer in Kevin Reiter yet? I am. He had 25 saves.
The Komets should be getting back Bobby Kukulka, Travis Granbois and Maxsim Shirokov from injuries next weekend. However, they are losing top-line right wing Jason Sessa, who is taking a leave of absence for about two weeks to tend to an illness in the family. He wanted to thank the Komets and the fans for being so understanding about him needing to leave for a while.
By the way, the International Hockey League's vice-president of hockey operations, Brad Jones, was at the game.
-- By Justin A. Cohn, The Journal Gazette