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Ouch, K's lose 1-0 in a shootout

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The feeling in the Komets' locker room was certainly one of frustration late Friday night.

They felt they had outplayed the Kalamazoo Wings and they had.

"I thought we played really well and deserved a better fate," coach Al Sims said.

The problem, in my opinion, wasn't that the Komets couldn't get scoring chances. They had 35 shots. It's that they couldn't finish them.

There was the whiff on a breakaway. There was a 3-on-1 without a shot or a pass toward the net. Brett Smith missed the net from point-blank range with four minutes left. Eric Giosa failed to get a shot in the shootout after losing control of the puck.

Yuck.

Yes, the Komets had a goal disallowed in the first period. No, it shouldn't have been. But they let a point get away in this one.

Goaltender Kenny Reiter was amazing, despite getting beat on 3 of 4 shots in the shootout by Justin Taylor, Michael Davies and Brett Lysak. He stopped 25 shots before that.

"I wasn't happy with my results in the shootout there," said Reiter, a rookie. "But it's something I need to adjust to and something I need to work on. … But Martin was hot. He played well and we just came up a little short in the goal column. It's a learning experience. It's still early in the year. This is something we can build off of."

Sims said of Reiter: "Kenny has proved he's got amazing ability to get across on pucks and make saves. He's got unbelievable quickness. He's very alert."

Of course, Kalamazoo goalie Joel Martin was superb as usual. He stopped 35 shots and all three shootout attempts, if you count Giosa's.

The Komets have lost two of their first three games in the ECHL, but if you compare this to the opener, a 4-1 loss to Kalamazoo on Oct. 12, it's night and day.

The Komets are heading in the right direction.

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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