Published: 6 days ago
KALAMAZOO, MI— The Kalamazoo Wings were provided multi-point nights by seven skaters and tallied a season-high eight goals en route to an 8-5 victory over the Toledo Walleye in game four of the best-of-seven Central Division Semi-Finals series on Wednesday night at Wings Event Center.
Not skipping a beat after their four-goal third period from the night before, the Wings roared out to the first goal of the game while working on a power play in the opening minutes. Lane Scheidl scooped the puck form behind the goal and centered to Josh Pitt, whose quick wrist shot trickled between the legs of Jake Paterson.
Less than two minutes later, the Wings added to their advantage with some gritty play along the boards. Kyle Blaney battled at the wall, freeing Tyler Biggs to corral the puck and feed it out to the line for Michael Trebish, who hammered a slap shot that was tipped in front by Brian Hart and into the net.
Toledo got on the scoresheet and cut the Wings’ lead in half after earning their first power play of the game during the middle stages of the first. A beautiful backdoor feed from Evan Rankin to Tyson Spink allowed the Walleye to get on board at the 10:04 mark of the period.
Bouncing back in a hurry, Kalamazoo re-gained their two-goal lead at the 12:46 mark of the first period. After an aggressive forecheck from Peter Schneider helped steal the puck free, he was able to pinpoint Cam Darcy at the crease for a far-post wrist shot that slid past the leg of Paterson and in.
Sixteen seconds later, Kalamazoo capped off a four-goal first frame with a blast from Scott Henegar from the left wing. Henegar gained the Toledo line and stepped into a slap shot that flew past the glove of Paterson and into the top corner.
The goal from Henegar was the fourth on eleven shots for Kalamazoo through 13:02 of gameplay, and it was enough for the Walleye to pull Paterson in favor of Jeff Lerg.
Minutes into the second period and on yet another power play, the Wings tacked on to their lead. After Darcy’s shot was knocked down before it got to the goal, Schneider crashed the loose puck and swept a backhand over the line to establish a 5-1 lead.
Later on in the frame, the Walleye cashed in on an opportunity with Kalamazoo goalie Nick Riopel void of his stick. A long wrist shot by Alex Globke whizzed through a screen and over Riopel’s right leg for Toledo’s second of the contest.
With under 30 seconds to go in the second period, the Wings again padded their lead to a game-high four goals as Eric Kattelus rifled a slap shot that ricocheted off a Walleye defender and into the net. The Wings cruised into the second intermission with a 6-2 advantage.
The Walleye cranked up their pressure and attack in the third period and scored three goals in the first 11:02 to pull within a goal. Kyle Bonis, Tylor Spink, and Landon Oslanski highlighted the rapid-fire attack of the Walleye, as their markers cut the score to 6-5 in the final minutes of regulation.
After handling the continued chances, the Wings used a scramble at the Walleye goal to regain control of the contest. Darcy gave the puck to Tanner Sorenson, whose low-slot slap shot hit a body, and laid flat for Pitt to bury his second of the night.
With under two minutes to go and Lerg on the bench for an extra attacker, Kalamazoo knifed the puck out of their own zone and Pitt angled a shot towards the empty net to finish off his hat trick and seal the Wings’ 8-5 victory in game four.
Next: Kalamazoo @ Toledo Walleye, Round One-Game Five (best-of-seven series)- Friday, April 21, 7:35 p.m., Huntington Center.
Broadcast information: Friday’s game will air on AM 1660 The Fan in Kalamazoo or online at www.1660thefan.com/listen-live.
Notes: The best-of-seven series is tied 2-2… Kalamazoo set a new season high with eight goals… Schneider has points in 18 straight games dating back to March 5… Pitt’s hat trick was the second of the season and first career playoff hat trick…Kalamazoo went 2/5 on the power play… 12 of Kalamazoo’s 16 skaters registered points and seven had multi-point nights.
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.