The Week Ahead:
Friday @ Fort Wayne Komets 8:00pm
Saturday vs. Fort Wayne Komets at the Wings Event Center 7:00pm
The Wings went 1-3 during the last week, dropping games in Elmira and Manchester before beating Quad City in a shootout on Wednesday. The win against the Mallards was their 7th victory away from the Wings Event Center. They've played a league-high 16 games on the road.
On Friday a seemingly innocent 2-2 game after two periods exploded in the third. The teams combined for seven goals in the final frame, unfortunately for the Wings they only scored twice. The Jackals potted five goals in the the final stanza to take a 7-4 win. Kalamazoo spread the scoring out as Justin Taylor, Anthony Camera, Tyler Shattock and Eric Kattelus all found the back of the net in the loss.
They also lost the services of Tyler Biggs and Kattelus who were both banged up in the loss to Elmira. Kattelus would miss two games while Biggs was moved to the reserve list.
They were back on the ice the next night for the first of two games against the Manchester Monarchs. The Wings found themselves down early in their first ever trip to the SNHU Arena. Down 2-0 in the second, Lane Scheidel would score his fifth of the season to cut the lead to one goal. Unfortunately, the Monarchs would score the next two goals to stretch their lead to three. A third period goal by Scott Henegar would bring the Wings a bit closer, but they would drop the game 4-2.
The two teams would match up again on Sunday and things were going swimmingly for the Wings as they took a 3-2 lead into the third period. Tanner Sorenson, Kyle Blaney (first career ECHL goal) and Peter Schneider (first in a Wings uniform) scored for Kalamazoo. The Monarchs stormed back in the third period as they scored four unanswered goals in the third period against Nick Riopel who finished with 20 saves in the 6-3 loss.
A few days off seemed to be the tonic for the beleaguered defense as they held the Quad City Mallards to 2 goals and only 25 shots in on Wednesday. It took a shootout, but the Wings emerged with a 3-2 victory. Kattelus scored in the first and Taylor added his team-leading 8th goal in the second.
The Wings end their six-game road trip in Fort Wayne on Friday night. The Komets currently sit third in the Central division with a 12-5-3 record.
On Saturday night the two teams battle again at the Wings Event Center. It's a big night for the Kalamazoo Wings as they have their first Affiliate Night in franchise history. They will celebrate their partnership with the Lightning and Syracuse Crunch by donning special jerseys (available for auction after the game). The proceeds from the auction will benefit Gryphon Place, which specializes in providing conflict and crises services in the Kalamazoo area.
They will also feature several items from Steve Yzerman's career (including the stick he used to score his 691st goal) and Steven Stamkos (mysteriously described as “Hockey Hall of Fame items”). The Jack Adams and GM of the Year Awards will also be on display. There will also be exhibits from the Hockey Hall of Fame detailing the history of the Syracuse Crunch, the Lightning's Stanley Cup run and general history.
As it presented by Bell's Brewery, they will also be on-site with giveaways and featuring some of their craft beers.
With the win against the Mallards Joel Martin is now three shy of tying Georges Gagnon's franchise record of 196 wins set. Gagnon set the record when the Wings were an IHL franchise. He had three different stints with Kalamazoo starting in 1979-80 and retiring after the 1986-87 season.
Points: 17 – Justin Taylor
Goals: 8 – Justin Taylor
Wins: 5 – Joel Martin
GAA: 3.29 – Joel Martin