The Kalamazoo Wings (38-30-1-3) finished the regular season with a win over the Wheeling Nailers (34-30-8-0) on Saturday night and now look ahead to their best-of-seven series against the Toledo Walleye.
The Walleye captured the Brabham Cup on Saturday night following their 10-0 victory over the Indy Fuel. The Brabham Cup is the trophy awarded annually to the ECHL team that finishes with the most points in the regular season. The recipient is guaranteed home-ice advantage throughout its participation in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Facing the Wheeling Nailers for their final two regular season games of the season, the two teams tangled in Wheeling on Friday night before traveling back to Kalamazoo for game number 72.
On Friday, the Nailers trounced the K-Wings 7-2. Peter Schneider and Lane Scheidl scored for the K-Wings.
While Wheeling controlled the game on Friday, it was the K-Wings turn to take the reigns on Saturday as five different skaters scored two points in the K-Wings 5-2 win.
Getting on the board in the first, the K-Wings Lane Scheidl scored a shorthanded goal for the early 1-0 lead. The K-Wings were down a player due to newcomer Michael Zipps’ slashing penalty. Peter Schneider sent a shot to the goal that was pushed away by netminder Doug Carr. Scheidl was able to knock the rebound in for his 27th of the season.
The Nailers tied the game with just 20 seconds remaining in the first period on a Kale Kerbashian goal.
Scheidl struck again early in the second period to give the K-Wings a 2-1 lead. Cam Darcy dropped the puck to Scheidl who put it away to regain the lead for the K-Wings.
Justin Taylor found the net for his 32nd goal of the season with just under a minute remaining in the period.
Tanner Sorenson scored just 41 seconds into the final period to give the K-Wings a 4-1 lead. Sorenson was able to take a pass from Taylor to the net for his 20th of the season.
Just over a minute later, the K-Wings scored their final goal of the game as Brian Hart scored his sixth of the year.
Tyler Currier added a goal for the Nailers, but the K-Wings held on for the 5-2 win.
K-Wings goaltender Joel Martin stopped 43 of the 45 shots he faced in the win.
Toledo and Kalamazoo face-off in Game 1 of the Central Division Quarter-Finals this Friday night in Toledo. Games three and four will be played in Kalamazoo on Tuesday and Wednesday April 18 and 19.
K-Wings News and Notes
Friday vs. Wheeling: Peter Schneider’s point streak has improved to 13 games… Kalamazoo has lost two straight games for the first time since February 18-20… Kalamazoo went 0/2 on the power play and 1/2 on the penalty kill… The K-Wings outshot the Nailers 38-34… Lane Scheidl had two points in his first game back since missing five due to injury… Cam Darcy has points in nine of his last ten games.
Saturday vs. Wheeling: Peter Schneider’s point streak has improved to 14 games… The Kalamazoo Wings finished the regular season with a 38-30-1-3 (80 points) record… Joel Martin tied a season high with 45 saves during the triumph…Five skaters had multi-point nights… Cam Darcy has points in 10 of his last 11 games…Kalamazoo went 1/4 on the power play and 4/4 with a shorthanded goal on the penalty kill… The Wings finished the season with a 3-6-0-1 record against Wheeling.
Submitted by Mark McGlothlen