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K's slide continues

TOLEDO -- Once again, the Komets' inability to finish off scoring chances haunted them.

They lost 6-3 to the Toledo Walleye, despite outshooting the host team 35-29 at the Huntington Center on Sunday.

"If you can't score goals, you can't win in this league," Fort Wayne coach Al Sims said. "I said that last night and I'm saying it again tonight. We had a 2-on-0 breakaway and nothing. Are you kidding me? We didn't even get a shot on net. It's beyond anything I've seen."

The game was tied at 2 in the third period before the Walleye netted three goals in the span of four shots against the Komets, who have lost five in a row and seven of their last nine, dropping them to 10th place in the Eastern Conference.

The Komets have only 18 games remaining to make up four points and get into the eighth and final playoff spot, but this is nothing like what the team had in mind after winning four championships in five years and joining the ECHL last summer.

Lately, the biggest problem has been finishing. The Komets have seven goals over their last five games.

While they got goals from forward Matt Syroczynski on a 40-foot shot and defenseman Nick Wheeler on a 20-footer, it was still tied at 2 because of the misses. Forward Eric Giosa missed a wide-open net, Syroczynski missed a wraparound with goaltender Jordan Pearce out of the net and forward Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock missed the net entirely on the aforementioned 2-on-0 rush.

The Komets got a late goal from forward Brandon Marino, but it was followed by an empty-netter from Toledo forward Kyle Rogers.

"We've just got to work harder," Syroczynski said. "That's the only thing I know that works, is that everybody had to work harder. We're getting the chances. We've got to bury them."

Nino Musitelli had a goal and two assists for Toledo, which also got a goal and an assist from former Komets forward Stephon Thorne.

With the March 7 trade deadline approaching, the Komets may look to now deal to improve.

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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