Published: 14 days ago
MOLINE, IL— Kyle Bushee’s overtime winner twenty seconds into an extra session lifted the Kalamazoo Wings to a 4-3 win over the Quad City Mallards on Wednesday night at iWireless Center.
The Mallards sprung out to the game’s first lead just past the midway point of the opening period. A beautiful series of passing from Nolan LaPorte to Chris Francis freed up Michael Parks behind the Kalamazoo defense. Parks used a little shoulder shake to create space in the top corner of the goal and his wrist shot beat Nick Riopel.
Kalamazoo tied the game after the first 12 minutes of the second period yielded no scoring. Creating offense on a counter-attack, Josh Pitt walked up the right-wing side and saw a window over the shoulder of Quad City goaltender C.J. Motte. Pitt rifled a wrist shot that sailed over Motte’s blocker and tied the game at one.
Sixty seconds later, Kalamazoo’s forecheck forced a turnover and helped produce their second goal of the night. Brian Hart angled the puck around for Stefan Fournier who wrapped it around the back of the goal, catching Motte off guard. Fournier slipped the puck through the legs of the Mallards’ netminder and gave the Wings a 2-1 lead.
Less than two minutes after clutching the lead, the Wings let one slip through after another speedy attack from Quad City. Brady Brassart raced ahead with a man to his left, and as Brassart went to center the puck to the goal, it ricocheted off a Wings’ defender and found the upper portion of the goal, tying the game at two.
In the opening minutes of the third period, Quad City used an odd-man rush towards Riopel to re-establish the lead. LaPorte controlled the puck and faked a pass to Justin Kovacs, then ripped the puck into the far-side corner of the goal.
Later on in the period and trailing by a goal, the Wings earned a power play and tied the game during the attack. Setting up in front of the goal, Peter Schneider called for the puck and was delivered a strike from Tyler Biggs, allowing Schneider a chance to snap a game-tying wrist shot.
A winner couldn’t be decided in the closing minutes, and the game progressed to a sudden death overtime session.
Controlling the opening draw in the extra session, the Wings wasted no time in pushing the puck up the ice. Tanner Sorenson found Taylor, who got to the outside of the Mallards’ zone, and floated a feed to the front of the goal which Bushee caught up to and tipped through the pads of Motte for the game winner.
Next: Kalamazoo vs. Indy Fuel- Friday, March 17, 7:00 p.m., Wings Event 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 stopped 27 of 30 shots and earned his 12th victory in his last 13 starts… Kalamazoo are 6-1 in games that have been decided in three-on-three sudden-death overtime… Kalamazoo ended their season series against Quad City with a 5-2-0-1 record… The Wings have 68 points and are two back of the Mallards for the third seed in the Central Division…Kalamazoo have handed Quad City three of their four overtime losses all 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.