The Kalamazoo Wings continued their current home stand this past weekend with three games in three nights. On Friday and Saturday they hosted the Orlando Solar Bears, while on Sunday they closed out the weekend with a late afternoon tilt against the Quad City Mallards. There were 6 points on the line and the K-Wings managed to come out with 3 of them.
On Friday night the K-wings dominated the second period, firing 20 shots at Kasimir Kaskisuo and beating him for three goals. If the other two periods had gone that way Kalamazoo would have walked away with an easy win. Unfortunately, they had dug a fairly large-sized hole by giving up four goals in the first period.
Orlando’s Tony Cameranesi scored to open and close the scoring in the period with Denver Manderson and Eric Faille getting pucks past goaltender Nick Riopel. Peter Schneider started the attempted to comeback early in the second as he deflected a Lane Scheidl shot for his third goal in nine games with the K-Wings. Less than a minute later Scott Henegar scored on a rebound off of Tyler Biggs shot. The assist was Biggs first point since returning from the reserved list. Schiedl added a goal of his own a few minutes later and the K-Wings were within a goal.
The comeback was derailed 30 seconds later when Joe Perry (the hockey player not the guitarist) scored for the Solar Bears. Orlando would add another goal in the third and win 6-3 despite getting outshot 44-24 by Kalamazoo.
The two teams returned to the Wings Event Center on Saturday night and flipped roles. This time it was Orlando who was stymied by a hot goaltender as Joel Martin stopped 45 shots in the K-Wings 3-2 overtime victory. It was Martin’s 193rd victory in a K-Wings jersey (and what a jersey it was).
Martin is now two wins away from the franchise record. He had to be sharp in the first period when the Solar Bears fired 14 shots at him. Martin stopped all 14 and was rewarded with a lead when Anthony Camara scored his 9th goal of the season off of a Tyler Shattock rebound.
Orlando continued to dictate the pace in the second period as they directed 21 more pucks on Martin. This time two managed to get past the veteran netminder as Faille scored five minutes into the period and Brett Findlay scored on a breakaway. In between the two Orlando tallies, Tanner Sorenson scored to give the K-Wings a brief lead.
Kalamazoo dominated the third period as the home team had 21 shots on net. Kaskisuo, who was making his second start in as many nights, answered the call and stopped all of them. He wouldn’t be able to stop them all in overtime. In the dying minutes of extra time, Justin Taylor beat the Orlando goaltender on the glove side with a backhander and the K-Wings secured the extra point.
There was little time for rest as Quad City came in for an afternoon contest against the K-Wings on Sunday. The two teams combined for 8 real goals (and a skills competition goal) as the Mallards slipped past Kalamazoo 5-4 in a shootout.
Despite having played an extra frame Saturday night the K-Wings came out with speed in the first period when they scored twice on 14 shots against Adam Vay. Scott Henegar removed any suspense from the Teddy Bear Toss as he put the puck in the net just past two minutes into the game. A thousand teddy bears would be thrown on the ice by Kalamazoo fans. The team then donated the stuffed animals to patients at the Bronson Children's Hospital. Schneider would add a goal at the 14 minute mark and the K-Wings would go into the locker room with a nice 2-0 victory.
Henegar added another marker in the second period, but the Mallards scored two goals to draw within one after 40 minutes. Alex Petan and Michael Parks were able to beat Joel Martin who was making his second start in less than 24 hours.
Petran drew Quad City even early in the third period, scoring his 9th goal of the season. Henegar, who sent the bears flying in the first, sent the hats flying in the third as he completed his first career hat trick with a short-handed goal with 13 minutes left to play in the game. The K-Wings were unable to make the lead stand as Michael Parks added his second goal of the game ten minutes later.
Overtime determined nothing and Adam Vay ended up being better at the breakaway challenge than Martin as the Mallards’ goalie stopped all three K-Wing attempts. Justin Kovacs did manage to slip one by Martin and the Mallards earned the bonus point.
It was the third shoot-out loss on the season for the K-Wings who have a 10-15-3 record after 28 games. Their 23 points have them 11th in the 14-team Western Conference. They have the week off before heading to Toledo on Friday the 23rd.