MUSKEGON Mich. -- So let's delve into the most important question first. If two teammates get into a fight, should they get penalties for, say, unsportsmanlike conduct?
Personally, I think so. But they didn't.
During the Komets' 4-3 loss to the Muskegon Fury in Game 2 of the International Hockey League semifinals Saturday, there was a little tiff between goaltender Nick Boucher and defenseman Kevin Bertram. It happened after Boucher allowed a goal on which he said he was screened by Bertram.
"On that play, I was screened by my own guy," Boucher said. "And I said, not very nicely, for him to stay out of my way. You saw the rest of it."
The rest included a couple of punches from Bertram, who couldn't be found for comment. Then the linesmen had to separate them.
Boucher said they'll put it behind them.
"When you're battling in the heat of the moment, things like that can happen and let's chalk it up to that."
But that wasn't the only strange occurrence. How about 20 power plays? Three goals on 5-on-3 power plays for the Fury? Typical Jim Hawthorne officiated game, eh?
Yup, the Komets were focusing on one thing after this game -- staying out of the penalty box come Game 3 on Sunday at Memorial Coliseum. (I hate to belabor the point, but is Hawthorne the best the IHL could come up with? There were two games tonight? In the semifinals?) Anyway, the Komets did dominate the even-strength play.
On the winning goal, which came from Rafal Martynowski, after the Fury recovered from a two-goal deficit, the Komets claim it shouldn't have counted. The puck slipped by Boucher and Matt Reynolds swept the puck away from the goal line, the Komets believe, before it crossed the goal line. I didn't get a good look myself, so I'll leave that to their vision.
All totaled, this has been one weird series. And it could get weirder: I don't think I've seen the Komets as tight as they were after this game. Somebody had better pull a prank or something to get them laughing again.
The players of the game for Fort Wayne, in order: David Hukalo, Guy Dupuis, P.C. Drouin, Justin Hodgman, Kevin Hansen, Terry Marchant. For Muskegon: Dan Reidel, Mark Cadotte, Bill Zalba, Jeff Nelson, Isaac Reichmuth.
For Sims' postgame interview: Download sims_after_game_2.WMA
For Boucher's postgame interview: Download boucher_after_game_2.WMA
-- By Justin A. Cohn, The Journal Gazette