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Last updated: Sun. Nov. 11, 2012 - 12:55 am EDT

Exhausted Komets have winning streak snapped

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. — In the second period at Wings Stadium, the best shot of the game sailed just under the crossbar and into the net.

It was off the stick of Komets captain Colin Chaulk.

However, it went into his own net, as he was trying to blast a rebound out of harm’s way.

It was that kind of night for the Komets, whose five-game winning streak was snapped with a 6-2 loss to the Kalamazoo Wings.

“Down 3-2, when your captain shoots it into his own net, I think it kind of tells you how tired we are,” Fort Wayne coach Al Sims said. “I don’t think Colin could even see straight what he was doing or why he did that.

“But that was the game right there.”

Saturday was the Komets’ fifth game in nine days. During the stretch, four games were on the road, and there weren’t consecutive games played in the same city.

Adding to the problems were injuries that left them with only nine forwards this weekend. Out were goalie Marco Cousineau (groin), defenseman Ryan Hegarty (hand), and forwards Matt Kennedy (leg), Chris Auger (knee) and Eric Giosa, who the team is now saying has a stress fracture instead of a high ankle sprain.

“We’re a tired hockey team,” Sims said. “The injuries are catching up with us, and we were due to have a game like this.”

The good news is that the Komets (7-3-1) can now get some rest; their next three games, Friday, Saturday and Nov. 22, are all at Memorial Coliseum.

“It’s great that we only have two games (this) week. We’re giving the guys a couple of days off. We need to recover and get some energy,” Sims said.

Fort Wayne had come into the night 4-0-1 on the road, but it was clear early on that trend would be bucked by the Wings (7-5-0), who had lost 5-1 to South Carolina the night before.

Kalamazoo opened the scoring during a power play 4:26 into the first period, when Darren Archibald scored on a breakaway by slipping a shot between the legs of goaltender Charlie Effinger, who stopped 34 of 40 shots.

The Komets answered just less than nine minutes later, when Stephon Thorne got to his own rebound and sent it into an open net, while goalie Joel Martin (27 saves) was sprawled on the ice.

But some great work by Kalamazoo’s Aaron Clarke, who fought off two defenders in the corner before passing, set up Kory Karlander in front for a 2-1 lead at 19:20.

Center Brett Lysak’s power-play goal, on a one-timer from the right circle, made it 3-1. Komets center Matt Firman scored his first professional goal, on a short-handed breakaway, less than a minute later.

Lysak got credit for Chaulk’s gaffe midway through the second period, and forward Eric Kattelus beat Effinger with a wrist shot from more than 40 feet out.

Prior to the game, Fort Wayne defenseman Colton Hayes was fined an undisclosed amount by the ECHL for a spearing incident in Friday’s 5-2 victory over Evansville at the Coliseum. Hayes received a game misconduct for the act.

jcohn@jg.net


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