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K-Wings drop home opener

KALAMAZOO-The Kalamazoo Wings continue to be haunted by the Evansville IceMen as they fell to a record of 0-2 on the young season. After a 2-0 win over the K-Wings last weekend, the IceMen defeated the K-Wings 2-1 on Saturday night.

The Halloween spirit was alive and well as the ice was colored orange and the players were wearing one of a kind jersey’s that were auctioned off following the game.

After a scoreless first period that saw the K-Wings muster only two shots on net, the IceMen took the lead on a Matt Schepke goal early in the second period.

A spirited third period saw the K-Wings score their first goal of the season as Chris Lawrence tied the game early in the stanza to make it a 1-1 game. Later in the period, the Icemen’s Mike Seidel scored the eventual game winner.

Head coach Nick Bootland felt that his team did not play as well as he wanted them to until the final period of action, when the team played with desperation.

“I felt, in the third period, we started to do the things we wanted too,” he said, “we started to move the puck and work the back of the net, change sides and work the puck low to high and we were shooting the puck and getting more opportunities.”

IceMen goaltender Mike Clemente stopped 44 of the 45 shots he faced against the K-Wings in the past two games, but with the K-Wings allowing just two goals per game, Bootland sees an opportunity.

“When a goaltender is doing a nice job like they have the last couple of nights and we keep them below 30 shots and two goals against, we need to find a way to win those hockey games and the offense will come with this hockey team.”

The biggest issue for the K-Wings offense, according to Bootland, is two-fold.

“I don’t think we had a lot of second chance opportunities tonight and I don’t think we had a ton of traffic when we were shooting the puck.” he said. “You have to go to those tough areas, those gritty areas to try and score goals and we need to work on it.”

Both teams came up empty on the power play in four chances.

The K-Wings next home game will be this Friday as they host the Toledo Walleye. Also on tap Friday is “Duck Dynasty” night which will feature a visit from “Mountain Man” from the smash A&E show.