The only evidence that Wichita Thunder enforcer Robin Richards had been in a couple scraps was a tiny cut under his left eye.
But we have to wonder what the other guys looked like.
Richards didn't score a goal or dish any assists, but his influence — and that of fellow tough guy Ryan Hand — loomed large and was certainly representative of the team's overall performance on Friday night.
Weaklings in the Central Hockey League no longer, the Thunder showed off its collective muscle in every way possible against the Fort Wayne Komets: offensively, defensively, on special teams and, thanks to a few crowd-pleasing scraps, with the fists.
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In one of its most-complete performances of the season, the Thunder dominated the overmatched Komets 5-1 at Intrust Bank Arena and stretched its home winning streak to four games.
"When this team plays with confidence, we're capable of performances like that," said Bobby Hughes, one of several offensive stars.
Fort Wayne was the premiere team in the International Hockey League, which merged with the CHL during the offseason, but the Komets were completely humbled by the Thunder, which upped its record to 10-8-2 and 8-2-2 at home.
With two goals and two assists, Hughes led the offense, which has produced 23 goals during the winning streak at IBA. Troy Schwab had two assists, both coming in the first period, and Jesse Bennefield chipped in two points, including his team-leading 11th goal.
Goaltender Marc-Antoine Gelinas was the winner, improving his already-impressive numbers in Wichita (7-1-1, 2.20 GAA, .926 SP) in the process. The rookie had help from his defensemen. Kory Scoran leveled Brandon Warner with a big hit in the second, for example, and Daniel Tetrault scored his 100th career goal.
Many in the crowd of 4,182, however, likely left the building talking about the work done by Richards and Hand.
With the Thunder up 2-0 in the first period, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Richards took care of Olivier Legault, a 6-5, 240-pounder.
"When things get out of hand, we step in," Richards said.
Just six game seconds later, Hand did his part, clearly getting the better of Craig Cescon.
"I love that stuff, man," Hand said. "It's my job. It's only the second time I've fought at home. It feels good."
Add in the first fight of the night — Lance Galbraith vs. Kaleigh Schrock — and there were three bouts within 13 ticks of the game clock. Fort Wayne was down 2-0 and clearly frustrated at the time of the rough stuff.
"You've got a team coming in here that's been struggling, and they wanted to show us that they were ready to play," Thunder coach Kevin McClelland said. "We're not gonna back down from that stuff."
Notes — The Thunder and Tulsa, tonight's opponent, have split four games; the Thunder has won the last two — 4-2 and 8-0. Aaron Davis has three goals and eight points against the Oilers.... It would make for an interesting storyline if goalie Ian Keserich plays tonight. He was waived by the Thunder after an 0-3 start, but has won four straight and is 7-5 with a shutout in Tulsa.... Tonight is the popular Teddy Bear Toss. Fans are invited to bring the stuffed animals to the game and throw them onto the ice after the Thunder's first goal. All the bears will be donated to charity.
Fort Wayne0 0 1 — 1 Wichita2 3 0 — 5
Scoring—1. Wichita, Bennefield 11 (Schwab, Hughes) 3:12 pp; 2. Wichita, Hughes 3 (Schwab, Scoran) 14:05. Penalties—Fort Wayne, Rodger (hooking) 1:07; Wichita, Bennefield (interference) 9:30; Fort Wayne, Schrock (fighting) 14:07; Wichita, Galbraith (fighting) 14:07; Fort Wayne, Legault (fighitng) 14:14; Wichita, Richards (fighting) 14:14; Fort Wayne, Cescon (fighting) 14:20; Wichita, Hand (fighting) 14:20; Wichita, Davis (hooking) 15:28; Fort Wayne, Drouin (hooking) 18:26; Fort Wayne, Warner (interference) 18:32.
Scoring—3. Wichita, Hughes 4 (Bennefield, Schwab) 5:29; 4. Wichita, Tetrault 1 (Hughes, Looby) 6:56 pp; 5. Wichita, Gale 7 (Martens, Davis) 11:35. Penalties—Wichita, Looby (interference) 1:50; Fort Wayne, Musselwhite (holding) 6:23; ; Fort Wayne, Rodger (slashing) 10:33.
Scoring—6. Fort Wayne, Francis 2 (O'Connor, Phillips) 5:34. Penalties—Wichita, Galbraith (high sticking) 7:03; Fort Wayne, Legault (unsportsmanlike conduct) 19:10; Wichita, Galbraith (unsportsmanlike conduct) 19:10; Fort Wayne, Schrock (fighting) 19:57; Wichita, Richards (fighting, no tie down game misconduct) 19:57.
Shots on goal—Fort Wayne 10-7-8—25, Wichita 13-13-4—30.
Power plays—Fort Wayne 0-5, Wichita 2-5.
Goaltenders—Fort Wayne, Boucher 19 saves on 24 shots; Reiter 6 saves on 6 shots; Wichita, Gelinas 24 saves on 25 shots.