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K's must improve in shootouts

Like them or not -- and I hate them -- overtime shootouts are a crucial part of success in the ECHL.

This season, the Komets have gone to shootouts twice and lost twice, scoring on only 1 of 10 opportunities. (Mickey Lang has the one shootout goal.)

That has to change heading into three straight games at Las Vegas on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

"We've just got to score some goals and give our goaltenders some suppor," said coach Gary Graham, adding the Komets work on shootouts regularly in practice. "We work on it all the time."

One thing that would help the Komets, Graham said, would to have momentum heading into overtime and the shootout, instead of coasting into them.

"That's one of the big things," he said.

It also doesn't help that in shootouts, the Komets aren't even hitting the net.

"It's confidence and some guys are confident when they shoot. But if the puck goes an inch this way or that way, it's either in or out," forward Brandon Marino said. "But overall, I don't think it's a confidence issue. We just need to come back and do better (the next time)."

Last season, the Komets were 4-3 in shootouts.

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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