The Kalamazoo Wings (22-26-7-1) exploded for a season-high eight goals on Saturday night as they defeated the Kansas City Mavericks by a score of 8-2.
After a five-on-three power play failed to produce a goal for the K-Wings, Josh Teves, who was recently sent to the K-Wings by the Utica Comets, scored the first goal of the game at even strength. The goal by Teves was his second of the season in Kalamazoo.
The K-Wings pounded the Mavericks early and often in the second period as they put four goals on the board in the first 12 minutes of the frame.
Justin Taylor scored his first of three on the night just 29 seconds into the period. Brennan Sanford scored on a breakaway just over four minutes later to make it a 3-0 K-Wing lead.
Cory Dunn added a wrister just minutes later to put the K-Wings up by four. The Mavericks responded by pulling goaltender Tyler Parsons and replacing him with Nick Schneider.
Taylor struck again later in the period, redirecting a shot by Mitch Eliot into the top of the net for his second goal of the game, giving the K-Wings a 5-0 lead.
A Matt Schmaltz breakaway late in the period ended Jake Hildebrands’ shutout bid.
Much like the second period, Taylor struck again in the opening minute, needing just 47 seconds to score his third of the night, giving him the hat trick. The milestone was Taylor’s third of his career and 32nd multi-goal game.
Justin Kovacs and Brennan Sandford scored later in the period with a goal by the Mavericks sandwiched in between for the 8-2 final. The K-Wings came up empty on three power play chances, while the Mavericks failed to score on their one.
The K-Wings outshot the Mavericks 34-26.
On Friday night, the K-Wings and the Indy Fuel were locked in a battle of the goaltenders as neither team was able to score during 60 minutes of regulation play. The 0-0 tie held on in overtime, sending the two teams to the shootout.
In the shootout, Justin Taylor and Justin Kovacs scored to give the K-Wings the hard-fought 1-0 victory. Spencer Watson scored the lone goal for the Fuel. The K-Wings had 36 shots on net while the Fuel had 32. The K-Wings came up empty on three power play opportunities while the Fuel failed to score on their four chances. The shutout by Hildebrand was the sixth of his career.
Playing eight games over the next twelve days, the K-Wings travel to Cincinnati for a game on Wednesday night and then return home to Wings Event Center on Friday night to take on the Wheeling Nailers at 7:00 pm. On Saturday night, the K-Wings travel to Fort Wayne to take on the Komets and then return home to battle the Toledo Walleye at 3:00 pm on Sunday. All three games are big division battles for the K-Wings.
K-Wings News and Notes:
* Kalamazoo’s 8-2 win Saturday was its largest margin of victory and most goals scored this season.
*The K-Wings’ 1-0 shootout win Friday was their first shutout for or against all season.
* Kalamazoo is 7-1-4 on the road when preventing its opponent from scoring a power play goal.
Submitted by Mark McGlothlen