Published: 28 days ago
MOLINE, IL— Led by Nick Riopel’s 34-save performance, the Kalamazoo Wings earned their fourth consecutive win by besting the Quad City Mallards by a 3-2 final in overtime on Wednesday at iWireless Center.
After commanding the tempo during the first half of the opening period and forcing Riopel to make a handful of saves right out of the gate, the Mallards eventually broke through the Wings’ defense. Justin Kovacs feathered a pass to the front of the goal that was tipped by Grant Arnold and into the net, establishing a 1-0 advantage for the hosts.
Forty seconds later, Kalamazoo equalized after a terrific individual effort by Peter Schneider. Carrying the puck up the right wing boards, Schneider danced into the Quad City zone and snapped a tight-angle shot that beat Mallards’ goalie C.J. Motte along the ice for his seventh goal of the season. The teams headed into the first intermission in a 1-1 stalemate.
Midway through the second period and on their second power play of the game, the Mallards established possession and set up along the right-side half wall. Brady Brassart rifled a perfect pass to the backdoor for a waiting Josh MacDonald, who tapped a one-timer into the back of the goal.
The lead lasted for only 16 seconds, as the Wings quickly erased a deficit for the second time on the night. After Cam Darcy was tossed from the faceoff, Lane Scheidl replaced him to take the draw. As the puck hit the ice, Schiedl swatted it towards the goal and it knuckled past Motte, who was caught off guard with the quickness of Scheidl’s unconventional strike.
The third period was filled with chances, including a deflection by Scheidl that ended up in the back of the goal but was eventually waved off by the officials. The goaltenders were the stars of the final frame, as Riopel made eight saves and Motte denied 13 chances from the Wings. Regulation time came to a close and the teams headed to overtime for the third time in their head-to-head meetings on the year.
Early in the extra frame, the Wings held the puck in the Mallards’ zone, and Darcy sprung the puck to the net. Tanner Sorenson was on the receiving end of the dish and angled it past Motte for the game winner. The tally was Sorenson’s eighth game-winning goal, which are second most in the ECHL, and his third overtime winner.
Next: Kalamazoo vs. Brampton Beast- Friday, March 3, 7:00 p.m., Wings Event Center Center.
Broadcast information: Friday’s game will air on AM 1660 the Fan in Kalamazoo or online at www.1660thefan.com/listen-live.
Notes: Riopel has won eight of his last nine starts… Darcy has a four-game point streak… Kalamazoo handed Quad City their first overtime loss of the season… Kalamazoo are 5-1 in games that have been decided in overtime…Kalamazoo have won four straight games… The Wings are 4-2-0-1 against Quad City on the season.
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.