GWINNETT, GA – After dropping a 4-2 decision the night before, the Kalamazoo Wings (16-18-2-1) turned the tables on the Gwinnett Gladiators (25-12-1-1) to win 4-3 in the overtime shootout on Sunday evening.
Leading the Gladiators by a single goal for much of the third period, the K-Wings found themselves heading to overtime after Rylan Galiardi knotted the game with just seven seconds in regulation with a power play tally.
The Gladiators scored early in the opening period on a Doug Jones goal, but the K-Wings John Armstrong tied to score later in the period scoring an unassisted goal, his fifth of the season.
A short-handed goal by the Gladiators Andy Brandt late in the period gave the home team a 2-1 lead.
Nick Sirota tied the game 2-2 with an early in the second period with his ninth of the season.
Sirota lit the lamp for a second time midway into the third period to give the K-Wings a 3-2 lead, their first advantage of the game. The Gladiators then tied the game, sending it into overtime.
Neither team scored in the OT which pushed the game into the shootout.
The shootout went nine rounds with the K-Wings getting goals from Armstrong and Sam Ftorek while Alex Belzile scored for the Gladiators.
The K-Wings went 0-for-5 on the power play while the Gladiators went 1-for-3. Joel Martin stopped 34 of the 37 shots he faced while Louis Domingue turned away 24 of 27.
The K-Wings will be home this Wednesday night as they take on the Elmira Jackals. Game time is 7:00 pm.
KALAMAZOO- Facing the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Kalamazoo Wings (15-17-2-1) had their work cut out for them as they battled the Reading Royals (26-8-1-1) on Wednesday night at Wings Stadium.
After scoring three goals in the first 14 minutes of the first period, the Royals held the K-Wings off the scoreboard until forward Tyler Shelast scored his third of the season just over two minutes into the final period.
“As far as I have seen, they (Royals) are the best team in the league so far,” Shelast said, “and if you give them three goals, you are in trouble.”
As for his goal, Shelast said that he was hoping to catch the goaltender off guard, which he did.
“It wasn’t the hardest shot, but it was kind of where I was shooting and I just wanted to get it off quick,” Shelast said of his goal.
Alex Berry, Ethan Cox and David Marshall scored in the opening period for the Royals.
Even with the injuries and call ups that have left the lineup depleted as of late and the fact that three players made their K-Wing debut last night, Shelast felt the team played well but can’t make excuses for what they are going through as a team.
“I thought it was a pretty good effort,” Shelast said. “The ECHL is no stranger in having to deal with stuff like that. Every team goes through adversity and I guarantee Reading will eventually have to go through adversity. There are always guys injured, always guys called up.
Kirk McDonald scored the Royals fourth goal of the night late in game.
While he was not happy with the loss, head coach Nick Bootland did find a few positives in the game even after his team dug themselves into a hole early on.
“I felt we actually came out ok,” he said, “but we made glaring mistakes on those first three goals, glaring, fixable mistakes. That’s the positive. We can work from that. We can build on that.”
With the K-Wings leaving for Georgia tomorrow, Bootland said that instead of having an optional practice or no practice at all, the team will be on the ice before they leave town.
“We are going to have a walk through tomorrow,” Bootland said, “just trying to get each other on the same page. We are all here for the same thing. We all want to win, we all want to be successful and we all want to move up, staff, players, everyone included.”
Both teams came up empty on the power play with the Royals going 0-for-3 and the K-Wings 0-for -1.
Joel Martin stopped 31 of the 35 shots he faced while Royals net minder Drew MacIntyre turned away 19 of 20. The schedule does not get any easier for the K-Wings as they play two games against the Gwinnett Gladiators this weekend. Gwinnett leads the South Division with a record of 24-12-1-0.
KALAMAZOO – The Kalamazoo Wings will be welcoming a new face to the lineup while at the same time losing two more.
Forward Alexandre Grenier has been reassigned to the K-Wings by the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. Grenier, who started the season in Salzburg, Austria, is a first year pro. Grenier was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the 3rd round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Eric Kattelus, the K-Wings leading scorer with 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) signed an AHL contract with the Wolves today. The three-year pro also leads the team in power-play goals with five and shares the team lead in game-winning goals with two as well as one shorthanded goal.
Defenseman Adam Polasek has also been reassigned to the Wolves. Polasek, in his second professional season and first with the K-Wings has four goals and four assists in 34 games with the team.
The two become the sixth and seventh members of the K-Wings to either be reassigned or loaned to an AHL club this year.
Defenseman Mitch Versteeg was placed on the 21-day IR.
Goaltender of the Week
Joel Martin was named the Reebok Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week for December 31st through January 6th.
In four games last week, Martin went 3-1-0-0 and stopped 80 of the 87 shots he faced. He finished the week with a stellar 1.97 goals against average and a save percentage of 0.920. This marks the first time that Martin has received this honor in the ECHL.
Family Four Pack
The K-Wings announced a great deal for the entire family. The Family Four Packs will feature, four white-level tickets, four large Pepsi products, four popcorns, four hot dogs and a game-night parking pass for the low price of $50 (a savings of over $40).
The offer is subject to availability and there are no blackout dates on the K-Wings schedule that the package can’t be used for.
TOLEDO, OH – The Kalamazoo Wings (15-16-2-1) are inching their way back to the .500 mark as they won two of the three games they played this weekend.
After losing to the Toledo Walleye (19-13-0-4) by a score of 2-0 on Friday night at Wings Stadium, the two teams faced off again on Sunday evening at Huntington Center.
The shutout loss was the first of the season for the K-Wings.
On Sunday, both teams exchanged first period goals with the Walleye’s Max Nicastro and the K-Wings Alexandre Mallet finding the back of the net. From then on the game belonged to the defense and goaltenders as neither team scored again until the K-Wings Eric Kattelus scored the lone goal in the overtime shootout.
The K-Wings went 0-for-3 on the power play while the Walleye came up empty on six chances. Goaltender Joel Martin stopped 31 of the 32 shots he faced for the K-Wings while Jordan Pearce stopped 23 of 24.
Firing on all cylinders on Saturday night, the K-Wings defeated the visiting Evansville IceMen by a score of 7-3. The K-Wings received goals from Kattelus (2), Aaron Clarke, Mitch Versteeg, Mallet, Tyler Shelast and Nick Sirota.
The K-Wings return home on Wednesday night for a 7:00 pm game against the Reading Royals.
K-Wings News and Notes
Pack the House: All tickets to this Wednesday night’s game against the Reading Royals are $5 each. For an additional $10, fans can turn their tickets to all-you-can-eat seats. Wings Stadium will have a buffet featuring hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, Sloppy Joes, K-Wings boneless wings, French Fries and random desserts.
Shut out specialists: Since the K-Wings joined the ECHL four years ago, the team has been shutout a total of seven times. The Toledo Walleye have shutout the K-Wings three times.
Back-to-back: With their win over the Walleye on Sunday, the K-Wings have won back-to-back road games for the first time this season.
Work horse: K-Wings goaltender Joel Martin has been seeing his fair share of playing time. Playing every game since November 23rd, Martin leads the entire ECHL with 1,743 minutes played.
KALAMAZOO- If the Kalamazoo Wings (13-15-2-1) continue playing into the New Year like they did to end the last, things could get real interesting in the ECHL’s North Division.
Taking on the first place and affiliated player heavy Cincinnati Cyclones (19-10-2-0) for the 11th Annual New Year’s Eve Bash at Wings Stadium on Monday, the K-Wings used a full court press to skate away with a 3-2 victory in front of 3,755 fans.
The K-Wings came out flying in the first period outshooting the Cyclones 17-7. Both teams scored a goal in the opening frame, with the K-Wings hitting the scoreboard first as Alexander Mallet scored his third of the season. Garrett Wilson scored for the Cyclones later in the period.
A scoreless second period gave way to a wild final period that gave the K-Wing faithful a reason to celebrate.
Josh Shalla gave the Cyclones the lead early in the third period with his 13th of the season.
On Saturday night against the Toledo Walleye, the K-Wings scored two goals in 55 seconds. The K-Wings improved on that feat by scoring a pair of goals just 41 seconds apart on Monday night, even as they received a little help from the Cyclones net minder Brian Foster on the second one.
Eric Kattelus started the K-Wings comeback with his 11th goal of the season, which is a career best for him. The goal by Kattelus was scored on the power play.
Just 41 seconds later, an Aaron Clarke shot bounced off the wall and toward the goal. Foster skated out to play the puck but had to hurry back to the net as the puck ricocheted toward the goal line. As Foster attempted to protect the net, the goal slid under his leg and was pushed across the line for the K-Wing tally and eventual 3-2 victory.
The K-Wings outshot the Cyclones 37-32 on the night.
K-Wings News and Notes
Milestone Achieved: With his assist on the Kattelus goal, Sam Ftorek reached 600 points in his career.
Upcoming Games: The K-Wings continue their three-game home stand with a pair of games this weekend. On Friday, the Toledo Walleye will come to Wings Stadium on “Singles Night”. The game is also another FANomenal Friday which feature $2 beer, $1 Pepsi products and $2 Popcorn Fish Bites. The Evansville IceMen return on Saturday night which is also “Bad Bridesmaid Dress” night. Both games begin at 7:30 pm.
TOLEDO – The Kalamazoo Wings put an end to their five-game winless streak by defeating the Toledo Walleye 4-3 in the shootout on Saturday night at the Huntington Center. The K-Wings were defeated by the Fort Wayne Komets on Friday by a score of 4-1.
The K-Wings are in fourth place in the North Division with a 12-15-2-1 record, good for 27 points. The Cincinnati Cyclones lead the division with a 19-9-2-0 record and 40 points followed by the Walleye (17-13-0-2; 36 points) and the Fort Wayne Komets (16-13-1-1; 34 points). The Evansville IceMen are last with a record of 11-19-0-3 and 25 points.
The Walleye jumped out to a quick lead on Saturday night as Todd Broadhurst put the home team on the board with a goal just 1:37 into the opening period. The goal by Broadhurst was the fastest goal allowed by the K-Wings all season.
Erupting for three goals in the second period, the K-Wings stormed back into the game to take a 3-2 lead into the final period of play. Alexander Mallet, Kory Karlander and Elgin Reid all scored for the K-Wings while Broadhurst netted his second of the night in the period.
The goals by Karlander and Reid were scored just 55 seconds apart.
A goal by Brett Raedeke midway into the third period knotted the game at 3-3. The goal by Raedeke was his first of the season.
With the game tied at the end of regulation, the game went to overtime. With neither team scoring the winning goal in the OT, the two teams faced off in the overtime shootout. The K-Wings received goals by Nick Sirota and Karlander while goaltender Joel Martin held the Walleye scoreless.
K-Wings News and Notes
Ring in the New Year with the K-Wings: The 11th Annual New Year’s Eve Bash takes place tonight at Wings Stadium beginning at 7:00 pm. In addition to the K-Wings game versus the Toledo Walleye, fans can stick around as the K-Wings will hold a postgame bash featuring a live DJ as well as a public skate in both Wings Stadium and the Annex.
Big time coverage: K-Wings veteran forward Kory Karlander was profiled by USA TODAY. The story can be found at : http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/hockey/minors/2012/12/26/kory-karlander-echl-veteran/1793123/