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Komets lose ground in playoff push

The Komets lost ground Friday night in their push to make the ECHL playoffs.

Fort Wayne fell 2-1 to the South Carolina Stingrays in a shootout at the North Charleston (S.C.) Coliseum.

The Komets (28-29-2) are now nine points behind the Stingrays (30-24-7) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 13 games to play.

The teams play again at 7 tonight.

Tyler Johnson scored the only goal in the shootout as the Komets missed on all five of their chances.

Nick Schaus gave the Komets a one-goal lead at 5:38 of the first period.

Schaus was assigned to Fort Wayne by the team's AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, before the game.

The defenseman is in his second stint with the Komets after playing three games for Fort Wayne this season.

South Carolina's Andrew Cherniwchan tied the game at 17:36 of the first period as the teams went scoreless the rest of the way through regulation and overtime.

Komets goalie Jeff Deslauriers stopped 31 of 32 shots he faced in regulation and four of five shots in the shootout.

Stingrays goalie Ryan Zapolski turned away 33 of 34 shots.

The Admirals also assigned defenseman Gabe Guentzel to the Komets before Friday's game.

Guentzel, who played in Friday's game, is returning for a third stint after playing 14 games with Fort Wayne.

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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