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K-Wings knock off Komets, fall to Fuel

Tyler Biggs

The Kalamazoo Wings (22-15-2-2) battled their long-time rival, the Fort Wayne Komets (27-13-2-0) on Friday night.  The K-Wings used a strong third period to power past the Komets 7-4.  The K-Wings have won all three against the Komets so far this season and have outscored them 21-10 in those three meetings.

Wasting little time, the K-Wings took an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Scott Henegar.  A shot by Brendan Bradley was turned away by Komet goaltender Michael Houser, but Henegar fired off the rebound from the far side of the net to score his seventh of the season.

Garrett Thompson scored for the Komets midway into the opening period to knot the game 1-1.

Henegar struck again with his second of the night just under two minutes later.  Henegar stole the puck from the Komets and fired a shot past Houser to give the K-Wings a 2-1 lead.

The back and forth continued as the Komets tied the game minutes later on an Artur Tyanulin goal.

Giving the K-Wings the lead for the third time in the period, Justin Taylor scored his 24th of the year to give the K-Wings a 3-2 lead heading into the second period.

Like the first period, the K-Wings scored in the opening minutes of the second.  Tyler Biggs scored his 15th of the season after taking a Jimmy Mullin pass and sent a one-timer past Houser for the 4-2 K-Wing lead.  The power play goal by Biggs also marked a career high in goals in a season.

Regrouping later in the period, the Komets were able to claw their way back to tie the game at four goals apiece with goals from Jason Binkley and Thompson.

The two teams fought hard in the first half of the third period with neither team breaking the stalemate.  Kyle Blaney was able to break the tie later in the period with his fifth of the season.  Biggs added his second power play goal of the evening a minute and a half later to make it a 6-4 lead.

Blaney struck again, this time with an empty-net goal, to give the K-Wings a 7-4 victory.

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On Saturday night, the Indy Fuel came to town for a pair of games to wrap up the weekend.

The K-Wings threw everything at goaltender Greg Dodds, including the kitchen sink on Saturday night, with 56 shots on net, a season high, but it was the Fuel who came away with the 5-3 victory.

Swapping goals in the opening period, Josh Pitt put the K-Wings up 1-0 with his 15th of the season.  The goal by Pitt was scored on the power play.  The Fuel came back with a goal of their own minutes later as Cam Reid tied the game at 1-1.

The floodgates opened for the Fuel in the second period as they scored three unanswered goals.  Stephen Collins, Robin Press and Brandon Anselmini scored for the Fuel.  The K-Wings had 21 shots in the second period compared to the Fuel’s nine.

Trailing the Fuel 4-1 at the start of the third period, the K-Wings mounted a comeback.  Just 58 seconds into the final frame, J.T. Stenglein scored his seventh of the year.

Two minutes later, Mackenze Stewart scored his fourth, to cut the lead to 4-3.  The K-Wings offense was kept silent the rest of the game as Dodd was able to turn away the rest of the shots.

Johnny McInnis capped off the night with an empty-net goal for the Fuel.

The K-Wings remain at home for a game on Thursday night against the Rapid City Rush.  Game time is 7 pm.   The K-Wings then travel to Moline, IL for a game against the Quad City Mallards on Friday night.

By: Mark C. McGlothlen

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