All good things must come to an end. The Kalamazoo Wings (24-20-1-2) saw their five-game winning streak snapped on Saturday night as the Kansas City Mavericks defeated the K-Wings in overtime by a score of 4-3. However, the K-Wings did earn an important point in the loss, keeping them in the playoff mix.
The K-Wings made the seven-hour trek to Kansas City following their game with the Indy Fuel on Friday night. Beating the Fuel for the second time this week, the K-Wings skated away with a 4-2 victory.
On Friday night, Michael Neal, who played for the Fuel as their captain last year, put the K-Wings on the board just 31 seconds into the game with his second goal of the year. Josh Shalla scored a power play goal four minutes later to bring the Fuel even with the K-Wings.
Brendan Bradley scored the lone goal of the second period, his fourth of the year, to give the K-Wings a 2-1 lead.
The Fuel’s Matthew Thompson scored midway into the third period to make it a 2-2 game, Kyle Thomas scored to regain the lead for the K-Wings five minutes later. Reid Gardiner scored an empty-net goal as time was winding down in the period to seal the victory for the K-Wings. Jake Hildebrand was in net for the K-Wings and stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced.
Playing their first game of the year against the Mavericks, Brendan Bradley scored for fourth goal in as many games early in the first period to give the K-Wings a 1-0 lead. The Maverick;s scored later in the period to tie the game 1-1.
Early in the second period, the K-Wings took advantage of a five-minute elbowing penalty that was called on the Mavericks at the end of the first period. Neal and Gardiner scored during the power play to give the K-Wings a 3-1 advantage. The Mavericks added a goal later in the period to cut the K-Wings lead to 3-2.
The Mavericks scored the only goal of third period period, sending the game into overtime. Cliff Watson scored the game winner just 24 seconds into overtime to give the Mavericks the win.
Keegan Asmundson was in goal for the K-Wings, stopping 18 of the 22 shots he faced. The K-Wings went 2-for-6 on the man advantage, while the Mavericks came up empty on two chances.
Next up for the K-Wings is a battle with their long-time rival, the Fort Wayne Komets. The two teams will face-off during the annual Valentine’s Day Pink Ice Game at Wings Event Center at 7:30 pm. The K-Wings trail the Komets by one point in the Central Division standings. The Komets are in third place with 52 points while the K-Wings have 51.
By: Mark C. McGlothlen