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K-Wings playoff hopes hang in the balance

Aaron Irving

The Kalamazoo Wings have three games remaining in the regular season.  Each of those games will be critical to their playoff hopes.

The K-Wings are currently in fifth place in the North Division with a 34-29-4-2 record and 74 points.  The top four teams in each division move on to the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Toledo Walleye and Fort Wayne Komets have clinched their spots in the postseason earning the number one and two seeds respectively.

The spots for the remaining two slots may not be known until the final game of the season as the K-Wings are one of four teams trying to lay claim to one of those spots.

The Cincinnati Cyclones are in third place with 79 points. The surging Indy Fuel are in fourth with 75 points while the K-Wings are in fifth with 74 and the Kansas City Mavericks are in sixth with 73.  One bright spot for the K-Wings is that while the Cyclones, Fuel and K-Wings have three games remaining on the season, the Mavericks have just two.

Out of their final three games, only one will be played at Wings Event Center.  While the K-Wings have a 19-12-2-2 record on home ice, they are 15-17-2-0 on the road.

On Friday, the K-Wings will travel to Moline, Illinois where they will battle the Quad City Mallards for the final time. The Mallards will not be returning to the ECHL next season.  Returning home on Saturday, the K-Wings host the Brampton Beast.

In what could be the biggest game of the season, the K-Wings travel to Indianapolis on Sunday to face the Fuel in the regular season finale.

Cincinnati hosts Indy on Friday, Quad City on Saturday and Fort Wayne on Sunday.   The Fuel play in Cincinnati on Friday and then host the Toledo Walleye and K-Wings to close out the weekend.  The Mavericks host the Utah Grizzlies on Friday and Saturday.

Should the K-Wings find their way to the postseason, they will face either the Walleye or Komets.  If the K-Wings finish in fourth place, their first-round opponent will be the Walleye. If they finish in third, they will face the Komets.

In other news, rookie defenseman Aaron Irving was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team.  Irving, 22, is currently tied for first among rookie defenseman with 15 goals scored on the season.  Irving also leads all first-year defenseman with 47 points.

“It’s an honor just knowing how many good, young players there are in this league,” Irving said in a press release from the K-Wings. “Our team has so many and any one of them could have been named to this team. A lot of this is attributed to the players and coaches I’ve been with all year.”

Irving is just the second K-Wings named to the ECHL All-Rookie team.  During the 2013-14 season, Matt Caria was also selected for the honor.

By: Mark C. McGlothlen

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