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Komets fall in shootout

The Komets rose to the top of the CHL with a steadfast refusal to yield leads once a game reached the third period.

Sunday night, the Komets finally yielded.

Goals by Brandon Smith and Andrew Courtney within a minute of each other late in the third erased a two-goal Komets lead, and Missouri went on to beat the Komets 4-3 in a shootout in Independence, Mo.

Smith beat Komets goalie Gerry Festa with 5:26 to play and Courtney with 4:26 left, and then Courtney and Sebastien Thinel scored in the shootout to close the deal for the Mavericks (19-13-3).

It was the the Komets’ third loss in as many games this weekend after reaching the All-Star break last week with the CHL’s best record.

The Komets still lead the Turner Conference by three points.

Colin Chaulk had a goal and assist on nine shots for the Komets (22-11-2), and Jamie Milam and Bobby Chaumont scored in the last two minutes of the second period to send the Komets to the second intermission with a 3-1 advantage.

But Smith and Courtney erased that, and Charlie Effinger did the rest, turning aside 38 Fort Wayne shots to get the win in goal. The Komets outshot Missouri 41-34 and had a power play in overtime when Kris Hogg went off for tripping with 3:18 to play but could get only two shots on Effinger with the extra skater.

In other news Sunday, Ryan Palmer of Bloomington was suspended one game for his clip of Fort Wayne’s Brett Smith in the Blaze’s 2-1 victory Friday.

Smith has missed the last two games with a head injury.

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at jcohn@jg.net.

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