Rookie forward Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock has become a force for the Komets.
Schrock, who grew up in Fort Wayne as a fan of the team, has been a consistent tone-setter this season in checking, fighting and scoring.
The biggest thing I want to bring is energy, said Schrock, who has six goals, seven points and 75 penalty minutes in 30 games.
We have a lot of veterans on the team, and I think it’s important for the rookies, myself especially, to bring energy every day, even if it’s in the locker room. I want to become more of an agitator on the ice. When Mitch Woods (joins the team next week), hopefully I can learn some things from him. I can draw penalties and get in guys’ faces after the whistle.
Off the ice, Schrock could become the voice of the franchise. The communications major from Neumann College has begun an Internet radio show, which airs Mondays at 7 p.m. but can be heard anytime at HuntingtonCountySports.com.Instead of just talking sports, we want to interact with people and talk about things from our personal lives, said Schrock, who co-hosts Going the Distance, with college friends Eddy Darrah and J.J. Jordan. The three did a similar show for two years in college, where Schrock captained Neumann to a Division III national championship in hockey.
The first show (last Monday), we were trying to tell everyone how we got the show and about our backgrounds, Schrock said, but we want to develop it more.
Schrock will have plenty to talk about next week, after the Komets play three games in as many nights this weekend, including Saturday’s much-anticipated game against the visiting Muskegon Lumberjacks. It will be the first potential meeting between Fort Wayne’s Brad MacMillan and Muskegon’s Robin Big Snake since a brawl-filled game Oct. 31. MacMillan was suspended 15 games for leaving the penalty box to fight and being overly physical with an official, and Big Snake got a 12-game suspension for similar actions.
The Lumberjacks won’t have Jason Lawmaster, who jumped Konstantin Shafranov during a melee, which is what got MacMillan so riled up. Lawmaster had his spleen removed last week, after a hit from Bloomington’s Mike Liambas, who was suspended five games for his actions.
The Komets, who are 2-0-1 in their last three games and 17-11-2 overall, are four points ahead of tonight’s opponent, Bloomington.
Despite being a rookie, Schrock would like to take on more of a leadership role with the Komets. Considering the veteran nature of the team, that won’t be easy for the 25-year-old.
I think I can become more of a leader, even if I do it just by leading by example, Schrock said. Guys will have respect if I’m blocking shots and having fights.
Regardless of what role he’s able to garner – on or off the ice – Schrock said he’s had a blast playing for his hometown team.
The excitement has been getting even better than it was earlier in the season, Schrock said. After training camp, I was a bit nervous because they were releasing guys left and right, and you’re not sure if you’re going to stick.
I’m gaining more confidence, and I’m feeling more like it’s my actual job instead of some dream I’m having."