Published: 200 days ago
KALAMAZOO, MI— Peter Schneider led the way offensively with three points (two goals, one assist), and Nick Riopel won his ninth game in his last ten starts, as the Kalamazoo Wings defeated the Brampton Beast, 5-4, on Friday night at Wings Event Center.
In a jam-packed first period, Brampton struck first after a well-executed setup on their second power play of the game. David Pacan settled the puck down on the right-wing side and fired it towards the middle of the ice, where Chris Auger re-directed it into the top corner of the net for his 18th goal of the season.
The lead lasted less than three minutes, as the Wings equalized after creating an odd-man rush. Schneider paced a feed ahead of the play which was hauled in by Lane Scheidl. With a burst of speed, Scheidl tucked in behind the Beast defense and slipped a shot over the outstretched right leg of Brampton netminder Zach Fucale.
Shortly after Scheidl tied the game for Kalamazoo, Brampton roared right back at the 11:23 mark of the period. Winning a faceoff in the attacking end, Pacan pulled the puck back to Jordan Henry, whose long shot snuck through a screen and past Riopel.
Erasing their second deficit of the period, Kalamazoo pressured the Brampton defense in their own end and prevented the visitors from clearing the puck out. Holding the line at the left wing, Michael Trebish hammered a shot towards the goal which was deflected into the top corner of the net by Schneider.
As the stalemate continued into the second period, the Wings took advantage of the increased space on the ice during a four-on-four. Tyler Biggs thieved the puck from a Beast skater and walked in on a two-on-one towards Fucale. Biggs sailed a wrist shot to the near side post and over the leg of Fucale, establishing a 3-2 lead for Kalamazoo.
Seconds into the third period, Brampton moved into the Wings’ zone and established possession. Brandon Marino worked the puck to the middle of the ice where Pacan executed a pretty skate-to-stick maneuver and tallied his 33rd goal of the season.
Minutes later in the third, Schneider gathered his second goal of the game in almost identical fashion to his first. Ben Wilson’s slap shot from the blue line was tipped in the high slot by Schneider and the puck trickled past Fucale.
The Wings added some insurance after forcing a turnover in the Brampton zone and capitalizing on the counter attack. Justin Taylor stole the puck away and carried it over the line along the left wing, and uncorked a laser of a shot from the top of the circle that went over Fucale’s glove and into the roof of the goal.
With less than a minute to go and Fucale on the bench for an extra attacker, Brandon Marino tapped the puck towards the goal during a net-mouth scramble and it rang off the post but ricocheted off the back leg of Riopel to bring Brampton to within a goal.
It was as close as the Beast would get, as the Wings withstood the late attacks and earned a 5-4 victory on home ice.
Next: Kalamazoo @ Toledo Walleye- Saturday, March 4, 7:15 p.m., Huntington Center.
Broadcast information: Saturday’s game will air on AM 1660 the Fan in Kalamazoo or online at www.1660thefan.com/listen-live.
Notes: Schneider is on a four game point streak (six total points)… Cam Darcy is on a five game point streak… Taylor set a new career high with his 27th goal and 50th point of the season… Riopel has won nine of his last ten starts… Kalamazoo have matched a season high with five straight wins… The Wings finished the season with a 7-0-1-0 record against Brampton… Trebish was a game-high +3 rating.
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.