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EXPRESS KEEP PLAYOFF HOPES ALIVE

Nearly coming back for a four-goal deficit, the Kalamazoo Wings scored twice in the third period and had two more goals disallowed in a 4-2 defeat Friday night at the Sears Centre against the Chicago Express.

Even through the K-Wings had plenty of power-play chances (0-for-5) in the opening period, Kalamazoo found themselves trailing the Express.

While Chicago struggled with a man-advantage as well (0-for-2), they did score the period’s lone goal even-strength, as Mike Embach (12th) lit the lamp 9:30 into the contest whacking in his own round past Riley Gill.

In the second period, a penalty shot from Anthony Maiani (6th) 3:22 into the period pushed Chicago’s lead to 2-0. The penalty shot was the seventh attempted (2-for-7) this season against the K-Wings, the most of any team in the ECHL. Three of the penalty shots (1-for-3) have come against Chicago.

Chaz Johnson (19th) grew Chicago’s lead to 4-0 later in the period by recording his team-best eighth power-play tally.

With less than a minute in the middle stanza and seconds after coming out of the penalty box, Danick Paquette (13th) scored on a breakaway, which was setup by a pass from Johnson.

Making a change between the pipes to start the third period, the K-Wings replaced Gill with Maxime Clermont, who only saw three shots and made save on all of them in relief.

Kalamazoo tried to mount a comeback earlier in the stanza with a power-play marker from Darryl Bootland (25th).

Nick Sirota (22nd) brought the K-Wings back to within two goals two minutes later extending his goal streak to a league-best nine straight games. Sirota has earned points in 17 out of the K-Wings last 18 games.

Kalamazoo will conclude the regular season on the road Saturday, March 31st with a 7:00 p.m. encounter at the Huntington Center against the Toledo Walleye.

The K-Wings will return home to Wings Stadium on Friday, April 6th at 7:30 p.m. versus a yet to be determined opponent in game three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Tickets for the K-Wings round one playoff games are $16.05 and $19.95 for adults, $15.05 for seniors (62 years and older) and military (with proper ID) and only $10.05 for kids ages 12 and under. Fans can save money by purchasing K-Wings single game tickets in advance because tickets purchased on the day of a game increase by $1.

Submitted by Mike Modugno

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