Friday December 23rd Kalamazoo @ Toledo Walleye, 7:15pm
Tuesday December 27th Kalamazoo @ Cincinnati Cyclones, 7:35pm
Wednesday December 28th Toledo Walleye @ Kalamazoo, 7:00pm
The K-Wings head out on the road after a four game home stand. It wasn’t a bad week at home as they picked up 5 out of a possible 8 points and climbed up the standings a notch or two. Now the challenge will be to continue compiling points as they head out on the road for two games. That might not be an easy task.
Up first will be the first place Toledo Walleye. They have been playing well everywhere having compiled a 21-4 record through the first 25 games. At home they have been even tougher having suffered defeat only once in 9 games. Stopping their offense will be a daunting task as they’re scoring almost 4.5 goals a game. They continue to be led by the Amazing Spinks Boys, the twin brothers are 1st (Tylor 29 points) and 3rd (Tyson 26 points) in rookie scoring in the ECHL.
This is the fourth time the teams have met this season with Toledo emerging victorious in their first three engagements. In those matchups the Walleye have outscored the K-Wings by a combined score of 13-5. Scoring might be easier for the K-Wings as one player they won’t be facing is goaltender Cal Heeter who was recalled to Grand Rapids earlier in the week. The netminder had two wins, including a 3-0 shutout, against the K-Wings so far this season.
A win might be more likely against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Tuesday. The Cyclones are currently at 11-11-4 on the season and don’t pack quite the offensive arsenal that the Walleye have. This is the third meeting between the two clubs with each side having won a game in the opponent's building. The K-Wings won 3-1 on November 15th behind Nick Riopel’s 26 saves.
Speaking of Riopel…
Coming and Going:
...he has been recalled by the Syracuse Crunch. A trickle-down transaction because of the call up of Kristers Gudlevskis, Riopel joins the Crunch after posting a 4-8-0 record and a 3.33 GAA in 13 games with the K-Wings. Why was he recalled instead of Joel Martin who has posted better numbers on the year? Simply put, because he has a contract with Syracuse.
Will he play with Syracuse? Possibly. The Crunch do have back-to-back games on December 30th and 31st. If the Lightning haven’t come up with another backup by then, Riopel might get a start in relief of Adam Wilcox.
To fill the roster spot, the K-Wings announced on Thursday that they had signed Keegan Asmundson who had been released earlier in the day by the Indy Fuel. This is the third team of the season the Minnesota native has played for as he had started the season with the Fort Wayne Komets. He has appeared in 5 games and has a 1-1 record.
In a separate transaction Guillaume Rioux-Legault was suspended by the team. According to the K-Wings he will be returning to college in Canada. The defender had picked up one assist in 12 games with Kalamazoo this season. While it isn’t a deadly blow to the team, it does weaken a struggling defense.
Goals: 10 - Justin Taylor
Points: 21 - Justin Taylor
Wins: 6- Joel Martin
GAA: 3.27 - Joel Martin