KALAMAZOO – The Kalamazoo Wings (19-18-1-3), winners of eight of their last ten games, are on a roll these days. Securing three wins this past weekend and earning six points, the K-Wings find themselves above .500 for the first time in a long while and tied with the Quad City Mallards for the final playoff spot in the Central Division.
On Friday, the K-Wings traveled to Brampton, ON to take on the Beast (21-14-2-2). Joel Martin stopped 33 shots and Tyler Biggs and Kyle Blaney scored for the K-Wings in their 2-1 win at the Powerade Center.
Returning home on Saturday, the K-Wings hosted their biggest rival, the Fort Wayne Komets (22-13-4-0). A three-goal third period by the K-Wings broke a 3-3 tie in route to a 6-3 victory over the Komets at Wings Event Center.
Capping off their third game in three days, the K-Wings hosted the Toledo Walleye (30-8-0-1) for a Sunday matinee.
Setting the tone early, the K-Wings erupted for three goals in the opening period to take a 3-0 lead.
Forcing a turnover in the Toledo zone, Justin Taylor dished a pass to Tanner Sorenson who sent a wrister toward the net and past the Walleye goaltender, Jake Paterson, for a 1-0 lead.
Just over seven minutes later, the K-Wings added to their lead. An Eric Kattelus shot was stopped by Paterson, but Taylor, storming through the crowd, was able to push the puck into the net for a 2-0 lead.
Lane Scheidl sent the K-Wings into the locker room with a 3-0 lead, scoring his 14th goal of the season with just under two minutes to go in the first.
Continuing their assault in the second, Taylor scored his second of the game who scored on the rebound after Paterson pushed away a shot by Josh Pitt.
With less than three minutes remaining in the period, the K-Wings took a commanding 5-0 lead as newcomer Justin Breton scored his first goal as a K-Wing, but eighth of the season.
Mounting a comeback attempt in the third, the Walleye finally found their way to the scoreboard as Zach Nastasiuk scored his seventh of the year.
A power play goal by Nolan Zajac eight minutes later cut the K-Wings lead to 5-2. Just over two minutes later, the Walleye struck again, this time on the penalty kill as J.P. LaFontaine scored his sixth of the year.
Keeping things interesting, Tylor Spink scored his 14th of the season with just under three minutes to go while on a 5-on-3 power play.
Killing off the remaining time on the power play, the K-Wings were able to right the ship and hold on for the 5-4 victory.
The K-Wings host the Beast on Friday night at Wings Event Center. After an off day on Saturday, the K-Wings host the Wheeling Nailers (20-14-3-0) on Sunday, January 29th on “Kids Paint the Ice Night/Slappy’s Birthday”. Friday’s game begins at 7 pm while the game on Sunday starts at 3 pm.
K-Wings News and Notes
Friday: Schneider’s first-period penalty shot was the second of the season for the Wings (0/2)…Biggs’s goal was his first since November 30…Scheidl is on a four-game point streak…Kalamazoo are 5-0-1-0 against Brampton this season… The Wings are 12-3-1-0 against Brampton all-time… Kalamazoo went 3/3 on the penalty kill.
Saturday: Kalamazoo’s six goals were the most they’ve scored in a game this season… Scheidl is now on a five-game point streak, marking the longest point streak of a Wings skater this season… Kalamazoo went 3/8 on the power play after entering the game 1/29 on the power play against Fort Wayne this season…Sorenson is tied for the league lead with six game winning goals… Riopel made his first appearance since December 16.
Sunday: Scheidl is on a six-game point streak… Kalamazoo went 3-0 in their three games in three days stretch this weekend… Taylor’s three-point performance was his fifth of the season, which leads all Wings skaters…Martin made 42 saves in the victory… Kalamazoo is 2-3-0-1 against Toledo this season… 10 of 16 skaters had points for Kalamazoo… The Wings have picked up at least one point in eight of their last nine games.
By: Mark C. McGlothlen