The Kalamazoo will have to dig their way out of a hole if they hope to move on to the second round in the ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs.
The K-Wings and Toledo Walleye began their best-of-seven first round matchup on Friday night. Game two was on Saturday night. Toledo won both games over the weekend to take a 2-0 lead over K-Wings.
On Friday, the K-Wings wasted little time to make their mark, as Blake Kessel was able to put the puck in the net following an attempt by Justin Taylor to give the K-Wings a 1-0 lead.
Toledo took their time in answering to the K-Wing goal, but when they did, the goals came in bunches.
Kyle Bonis scored the first goal of the night for the Walleye at the 13:41 mark of the first period. Evan Rankin scored just under three minutes later to give the Walleye a 2-1 lead. Just 35 seconds later, the Walleye struck again, this time Tylor Spink found the net for a 3-1 lead.
Toledo added a goal in the second period to make it a 4-1 game as Shane Berschbach netted his first of the playoffs.
Attempting a comeback, Cameron Darcy scored later in the middle stanza to make it a 4-2 game. Darcy was able to knock in a rebound from teammate Kyle Bushee for his first of the playoffs.
Continuing their comeback bid, Charlie Vasaturo sent a wrist shot toward the net that eluded Walleye net minder Jake Patterson to cut the Toledo lead to 4-3. The goal by Vasaturo was his first career playoff goal.
Trailing by a goal and on a power play with Nick Riopel on the bench, the Wings fired some last-ditch efforts towards the goal of Paterson, but the Walleye goaltender made each required stop and Toledo took game one of the best-of-seven series by a 4-3 score.
On Saturday, the Walleye picked right up where they left off on Friday night, by scoring three first period goals for the second straight game, to take a commanding 3-0 lead after the first twenty minutes.
Again, like Friday night, Rankin and Bonis scored in the opening period and Tyson Spink, the twin brother of Tylor, who scored on Friday night, also added a goal in the first.
Rankin added another goal in the second period to make it a 4-0 Walleye advantage. The marker gives Rankin three goals in the first two games of the series.
Peter Scneider scored a shorthanded goal late in the third period to help the K-Wings avoid being shutout in the game.
The two teams meet up this Tuesday and Wednesday at Wings Event Center for Games Three and Four. Both games begin at 7:00 pm. Fans can purchase tickets for $10.
K-Wings News and Notes
Friday vs. Toledo: Peter Schneider has points in 15 straight games dating back to March 5… Darcy has points in 11 of his last 12 games… Kalamazoo went 0/3 on the power play and Toledo went 0/1… Nick Riopel made 18 saves and Paterson stopped 27 shots…Kalamazoo outshot Toledo 30-22.
Saturday vs. Toledo: Toledo lead the best-of-seven series 2-0 …. Ben Wilson was assessed a game misconduct at the 13:29 mark of the first period for cross checking… Toledo’s Simon Denis left the game in the second period due to injury and didn’t return…Kalamazoo went 0/6 on the power play and 6/7 on the penalty kill with a shorthanded goal… Martin made 30 stops and Jake Paterson stopped 20 tries by Kalamazoo…Kalamazoo totaled 43 penalty minutes, which were more than any other game (including regular season) of the year.
Submitted by Mark McGlothlen