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Komets lose to Kalamazoo in OT

The Komets came within inches of winning in overtime tonight, but Kalamazoo goaltender Joel Martin swept it away at the last second.

Then, the Wings got the 3-2 victory at 3:32 when Matt Caria lifted a shot past backup goalie Ben Meisner, who replaced Andrey Makarov in the third period, after Makarov suffered a head injury when a Wings player crashed into him.

Meisner stopped 14 of 16 shots. Makarov stopped 21 of 22.

The Komets are on a 2-0-2 run.

It was the first game back at Memorial Coliseum for former Komets captain Colin Chaulk, who is in his first season as an assistant coach with the Wings. Chaulk led the Komets to five championships in three different leagues between 2003 and his retirement last summer. Chaulk had wanted to be an assistant with the Komets but went to the Wings to work for head coach Nick Bootland, after Fort Wayne didn’t offer him the job.

The Komets opened the scoring 9:05 into the first period, when forward Shawn Szydlowski put a rebound past Martin. It was Szydlowski’s first goal in his 22nd game with Fort Wayne.

It took the Wings only 30 seconds to respond; defenseman Brandon Martell put a shot from the left circle past goalie Makarov, who has played in seven of the last eight games.

Making his debut for the Komets was forward Christian Ouellet, who was acquired along with forward Matt Carter from the Elmira Jackals on Monday for forward Mike Vaskivuo and defenseman Nik Pokulok.

Ouellet put the Komets up 2-1 at 18:47 of the second period, after weaving through three defenders. Carter was out with a minor injury.

Kalamazoo’s Dustin Cloutier tied it on an odd-man rush at 10:22 of the third period.

To make room in the lineup, the Komets released forward Garrett Vermeersch, who had one assist in four games.

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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