Friday 1/27 - Brampton Beast at Kalamazoo,
Sunday 1/29 - Wheeling Nailers at Kalamazoo
Recap of the week:
Friday - @ Brampton Beast
If the K-Wings could play the Beast every game they would already have qualified for the playoffs. A two-goal second period and 33 saves from Joel Martin propelled Kalamazoo to a 2-1 win, their 5th win in six contests against Brampton.
Eleven seconds after the Beast went up 1-0, Tyler Biggs deposited a rebound into the net to tie up the game. Roughly six minutes late Kyle Blaney finished off a pass from Lane Scheidl to give the K-Wings a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Brampton fought hard in the third period as they pushed to tie the game. Martin stopped all 17 shots they fired at him to pick up his 12th win on the season. Blake Kessel made his debut and despite having only a handful of practices with the team under his belt was able to log heavy minutes on special teams and five on five.
Saturday - Fort Wayne
With the K-Wings playing the middle game of a three-in-a-row series, backup Nick Riopel got the call for the start. Playing for the first time since December 16th, Riopel was the beneficiary of Kalamazoo’s largest goal output of the season as they took down the Komets, 6-3, at the Wings Event Center.
Six different K-Wings netted goals including Blake Kessel getting his first in a Kalamazoo uniform. His power play blast at the 16 minute mark put the K-Wings up 2-0 in the first period after Justin Taylor opened the scoring with his team-leading 17th goal of the season.
The teams traded goals and penalties throughout the second period as Josh Pitt added his 4th of the season. Tied at three apiece after 40 minutes, the K-Wings would pull away with all-star Tanner Sorenson and Kyle Bushee scoring on the power play. Lane Scheidl sealed the game away with an empty-net goal with a minute to play.
Riopel made 23 saves to pick up his 5th win of the season. With the victory, Kalamazoo crept within 2 points of Quad City for the last spot in the playoffs.
Sunday - Toledo
Jumping out to a 5-goal lead against a division leader is usually a great way to coast to an easy victory. Other times you need every single one of those goals to eek out a victory. Sunday was the eek out type of game for the K-Wings as they held off a late Walleye charge to emerge with a 5-4 victory.
Justin Taylor continued his torrid scoring of late by setting up the first goal, scored by Tanner Sorenson and then adding a goal of his own by tapping home a rebound. Lane Schiedl would cap off the scoring in the first period with his 14th goal of the season.
Taylor decided one goal wasn’t enough and scored his second of the night to kick things off in the second period. Justin Benton, the newest K-Wing, didn’t want to be the only Justin not to score a goal so he put home a rebound off of a Sean O’Rourke shot for his first goal in a Kalamazoo uniform.
Toledo came out on fire in the third. Thirty-six seconds in they scored at even strength. Eight minutes later they scored on a power play. Then they scored short-handed. Just for fun they added another power play goal. Luckily for the K-Wings there is only 20 minutes in a period and they were able to hold onto the win. Joel Martin picked up another win by stopping 42 shots, including 12 in the frantic third period.
Justin Taylor was named the ECHL/Sherwood Player of the Week. In two games he picked up 3 goals and 3 assists as he led the team to victories over Fort Wayne and Toledo. On the year he has 19 goals and 16 assists and leads the team with 35 points. In his 7th season with the K-Wings the former Washington Capitals draft pick has accumulated over 250 points in a Kalamazoo uniform.
Goals: 19 - Justin Taylor
Assists: 18 - Eric Kattelus
Wins: 13 - Joel Martin
GAA: .904 - Joel Martin