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MVP goaltender Martin returning to K-Wings

KALAMAZOO, MI – Last season did not go as planned for the Kalamazoo Wings, but one of the few bright spots is coming back for another season.

The K-Wings announced yesterday that goaltender Joel Martin, last season’s team MVP, is returning to the team for his fifth season.

Turning in a stellar year for the K-Wings, Martin also added his name to the K-Wings ECHL record book in several different areas. In addition to allowing the fewest goals per game (2.70), Martin also set a record making 63 appearances, playing 3,739 minutes, accumulating 31 victories and making 2,051 saves for a save percentage of 0.924.

“Joel’s conditioning and competiveness gives our team a chance to win every night,” said head coach Nick Bootland in a statement released by the team. “His play between the pipes was one of the main reasons we had a chance for a post-season berth last season.”

Martin played in 39 consecutive games from November 23, 2012-February 23, 2013, which is a rarity among goaltenders in any league. Martin made 40 saves or more in 11 games, including four games in which he stopped 46 shots, which tied his own K-Wing record.

Another familiar face will be joining Martin on the ice this season as defenseman Mike Matczak returns for his third season with the K-Wings.

Matczak played in just 23 games for the K-Wings last season before being called up to the AHL where he spent time with both the Manchester Monarchs and Abbotsford Heat.

“Mike is a young defenseman that is continuing to develop his overall game,” said Bootland. “In his time in the AHL, he showed he has the poise to play in all situations.”

In addition to Martin and Matczak, the K-Wings roster stands at 13 players. The 40th season of K-Wings hockey kicks off on Saturday October 19th when the K-wings travel to Evansville, Indiana to take on the IceMen.