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Komets lose; to finish under .500

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Despite a sterling performance from goaltender Jeff Deslauriers, the Komets lost their fifth straight game, 3-2 Friday night at Kalamazoo, ensuring they will finish with a sub-.500 record for the first time since 1996-97.

There were more than 100 Fort Wayne fans there to see the next-to-last game of the season.

Deslauriers stopped 47 shots, but the Komets got goals from only Nick Schaus and Eric Giosa on Fort Wayne's 38 shots.

The game was physical to the end, when Giosa got knocked out of the game in the waning seconds on a hit from Yann Sauve.

The teams meet again Saturday to complete the regular season at Memorial Coliseum.

With the Komets’ brass promising mass changes after this season, it could be the last chance for fans to see some of the players who helped Fort Wayne to four championships in the IHL and CHL between 2008 and 2012.

No one is under contract for next season.

As for the coach, Al Sims, general manager David Franke said he will be evaluated like everyone else.

“Al Sims is under contract as the head coach and director of player personnel with the Komets,” Franke said, declining to discuss when that contract ends. “We’ll have our end of season meetings and talk about everything, but there won’t be any decisions made about anybody for awhile yet.”

Center Jean-Michel Rizk’s call up to Norfolk of the American Hockey League was canceled, so he was in the lineup for the Komets (32-35-4).

The Wings are 34-29-8 and got a great effort from goalie Joel Martin, who played his 63rd game of the season.

Attendance was 4,874.

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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