When the season ends tonight, this Fort Wayne Komets team will be known as the gang who couldn't shoot straight.
The Komets lost to the Kalamazoo Wings 3-2 on Friday night to fall to 32-35-4 and guarantee themselves the franchise's first losing season since 1996-97.
This will also be their first losing season in Al Sims' 10 years as Fort Wayne's coach, and the first time the team has not made the playoffs since 2002.
The team is now 4-30-4 in games in which it scores two goals or less, and even more amazing the Komets have failed to score at least three goals in 23 of their last 35 games, going 3-18-2.
The Komets are averaging 2.83 goals per game which ranks 18th in the 23-team ECHL.
The Komets were outshot 50-38 on Friday night, including 23-8 in the second period when the Wings scored twice to push their lead to 3-1. The Komets had a last chance at the end of the game with a power play, but could not push the tying goal past Wings netminder Joel Martin. The Komets outshot the Wings 19-11 in the third period.
Nick Schaus and Eric Giosa scored the goals for the Komets, and goaltender Jeff Deslauriers made 47 saves.
The Komets will finish off their season with a final home game at 7:30 tonight against Kalamazoo.
The annual end-of-season awards will be presented after the game, including naming the Most Valuable Player. The annual end-of-season party and jersey auction will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Memorial Coliseum's Appleseed room. Tickets cost $5 and admission is free for season ticket holders.
Kalamazoo 3, Fort Wayne 2
Scoring: 1. FW-Nick Schaus (J.M. Rizk, Lindsay Sparks) 2:49; 2. K-Yann Sauve (Aaron Clarke, John Armstrong) 7:53.Penalties: FW-Garrett Klotz (tripping) 6:45; FW-Matt Firman (delay of game) 7:53; K-Elgin Reid (interference) 17:33; FW-Jamie Milam (tripping) 18:51.
Scoring: 3. K-Kory Karlander (Michael Leone, Brandon Martell) 4:57; 4. K-Armstrong (Alexandre Grenier, Alex Friesen) 6:32.Penalties: FW-Schaus (roughing) 18:31.
Scoring: 5. FW-Eric Giosa (Firman, Milam) 6:48.Penalties: FW-Nick Wheeler (hooking) 1:24; K-Nick Sirota (cross checking) 5:23; FW-Mathieu Gagnon (roughing) 8:02; FW-Schaus (boarding) 8:02; K-Grenier (roughing) 8:02; K-Friesen (cross checking) 17:52; K-Sauve (boarding) 19:27.Shots on goal: FW/11-8-19--38; K/16-23-11--50. Goaltenders: FW/Jeff Deslauriers; K/Joel Martin. Power-play opportunities: FW/1 of 4; K/1 of 6.
Officials: Referee-Nic Leduc; Linesmen: Francis Trempe, Shaun Morgan. Attendance: 4,874.