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K's lose in OT at Wheeling

The Komets' failed attempt to clear the puck down the middle of the ice in overtime gave Luke Pither an open shot and a goal in the Wheeling Nailers' 3-2 victory before 2,597 fans at WesBanco Arena on Saturday night.

It was the Komets' first ECHL game at Wheeling, W.Va., and they were outshot 39-18.

As they did in the 6-4 loss at Reading, Pa., on Friday night, the Komets coughed up a third-period lead. With Brandon Marino in the penalty box for slashing, Andrew Hotham tied it at 2 at 13:34 of the third period.

The Komets got goals from forwards Luca Caputi, off a rebound, and Ryan Lasch, on a wraparound.

Caputi has three goals and six points in the last three games. Lasch has five goals and 12 points in the last six games.

Fort Wayne (12-10-2), which is 3-2-1 in its last six games, plays host to the Kalamazoo Wings on Sunday. Wheeling (7-10-5) snapped a four-game losing streak.

Goaltender Charlie Effinger stopped 36 shots for Fort Wayne. Scott Darling stopped 16 for the Nailers, who got the only shot of the 50-second overtime.

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