Receiving offensive contributions from 12 of their 16 skaters, the Kalamazoo Wings earned their largest margin of victory (6 goals) in front of the largest home crowd (4,407) of the season, as the K-Wings defeated the Toledo Walleye 7-1 during the 10th Annual New Year’s Eve Bash, presented by COOL 101 and WWMT News Channel 3.
Registering his team-leading sixth power-play goal of the season, Sam Ftorek (8th) propelled the K-Wings on the scoreboard with a blast from the blue-line 13:56 into the contest.
Finding breathing room in the second period, Kalamazoo struck three times in the middle stanza starting with a quick marker 1:13 into the second from Darren Archibald (3rd).
A nifty pass from Steven Anthony set up the K-Wings next goal midway in the period. Weaving around two defensemen, Anthony found Trent Daavettila streaking towards the net, who beat Dustin Carlson on a backhander.
Archibald continued the K-Wings strangle-hold earning his second of the night with a wrist shot from the right-circle 16:42 into the period. On the season, three of Archibald’s four goals have come against Toledo.
Forward Brandon Svendsen picked up his second assist on the goal, both occurred on tallies from Archibald.
Reversing roles early in the third period, Archibald sent a centering pass to Svendsen, who rifled home his 11th goal of the season.
Two minutes later, Darryl Bootland (8th) extended his point streak to nine games by deflecting a Taylor Ellington slap shot.
Raising the lead to seven goals, Bryan Haczyk (7th) was in perfect position to drive home the puck, when a John Kivisto slap shot hit off the glass of the end zone and landed to the right side of the net.
Toledo earned their lone goal of the night late in the third period with a power-play tally from Joey Ryan (1st)
While the goal derailed the shutout bid of Riley Gill (12-7-1-2), it took away from an early birthday celebration, as the goaltender, who will turn 27 on January 1st, stopped 35 shots in the victory.
Carlson (2-2-0-0), who was making his Walleye debut after starting the season with the Ontario Reign also made 35 saves in the contest.
The victory also snapped a season-long five-game (0-4-1-0) winless streak for the K-Wings, who will enter the New Year in first place in the North Division.
For Game Stats: http://echl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=9096.
The K-Wings will continue their four-game home stand at Wings Stadium with the second-leg of the stretch this Friday, January 6th, when Kalamazoo hosts the Greenville Road Warriors at 7:30 p.m.
This Friday will be a Frugal Fan Friday, featuring $1 Beer, $1 Hot Dogs and $1 Pepsi products, presented by the Pain Clinic.
Submitted by Mike Modugno