Published: 10 days ago
TOLEDO, OH— The Kalamazoo Wings and Toledo Walleye played an old-school slugfest on Saturday night which saw the Walleye earn a 4-1 victory on home ice at the Huntington Center and take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Central Division Semi-Finals series.
The Walleye put forth an inspired first period effort, and their quick-strike attacked shined in the first twenty minutes. Just 3:34 into the contest, Kyle Bonis got the Walleye ahead by a goal after scooting in behind the Wings’ defense and lifting a top-corner-seeking wrister that beat Joel Martin.
Continuing their red-hot pace in the opening period, Toledo doubled their lead less than two and a half minutes later. Tyson Spink poached a loose puck at the side of the goal and belted it into the net to help propel the home team to a 2-0 edge.
The Walleye’s high-scoring first period continued two minutes later, as Evan Rankin wrapped around the back of the net, and after it was poked away, Rankin swatted the puck out of mid-air and tucked it into the goal, giving Toledo a three-goal lead at the first intermission.
After a physical first period, things calmed down as the second period progressed, and the Walleye tacked on to their lead midway through the period. Rankin found a way behind the Kalamazoo defense and he carried towards the goal unmarked. Rankin slipped a wrist shot past the left leg of Martin and earned a 4-0 lead for Toledo.
Rankin’s goal was the only strike of the second period, and the Wings went into the break after two periods facing a four-goal deficit.
Evening out the play in the third period, the Wings would tally the only goal of the final stanza with less than three minutes remaining and while killing a penalty. Tyler Biggs drove the puck deep into Walleye territory and dished in front of the goal for Peter Schneider, who swung the puck past Toledo goalie Jake Paterson to break up the shutout and get Kalamazoo on the board.
Schneider’s late marker was too little too late for the Wings, who dropped game two of the best-of-seven series by a 4-1 final.
Next: Kalamazoo @ Toledo Walleye, Round One-Game Three (best-of-seven series)- Tuesday, April 18, 7:00 p.m., Wings Event Center.
Broadcast information: Tuesday’s game will air on AM 1660 The Fan in Kalamazoo or online at www.1660thefan.com/listen-live.
Notes: Toledo lead the best-of-seven series 2-0 …. Ben Wilson was assessed a game misconduct at the 13:29 mark of the first period for cross checking… Toledo’s Simon Denis left the game in the second period due to injury and didn’t return…Kalamazoo went 0/6 on the power play and 6/7 on the penalty kill with a shorthanded goal… Martin made 30 stops and Paterson stopped 20 tries by Kalamazoo…Kalamazoo totaled 43 penalty minutes, which were more than any other game (including regular season) of the year.
Single-game tickets are on sale! Tickets start as low as $10 and can be purchased at www.kwings.com/tickets/schedule or at the Wings Event Center box office.
Wings Event Center, owned and operated by Greenleaf Hospitality Group, is home to the minor league hockey team Kalamazoo Wings and a full entertainment venue offering concerts, sporting events, family shows and trade shows. Built in 1974, Wings Event Center values partnerships with the community to bring events and attractions that enrich the lives of residents in the Kalamazoo area.