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Wings close in on playoff berth with win over Everblades

Published: 150 days ago


KALAMAZOO, MI—Peter Schneider netted two goals as the Kalamzoo Wings beat the Florida Everblades, 3-2, on Wednesday night at Wings Event Center, and the victory puts Kalamazoo one point shy of clinching a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

Creating pressure early in the game, the Wings burst out of the gates with the contest’s first goal. With a crisp breakout started by Kyle Bushee, Kalamazoo gained the Florida line, and Lane Scheidl drove to the goal, firing a shot that hit the pads of Alex Nedeljkovich. The rebound landed on the tape of Schneider, who shoveled a backhander into the net for his 14th of the season.

Later on in the period and with time winding down, Kalamazoo were able to set up possession in the Everblades zone and push the puck around the wall. Tyler Biggs fired a perfect pass to the stick of Eric Kattelus, who was able to slip a wrist shot from the high slot over the stick of Nedeljkovic and into the back of the goal, giving the Wings a 2-0 lead at the intermission.

Finding their stride in the second period, the Everblades got on the board with an unconventional tally.  Dalton Smith carried the puck end to end, and moved in behind the goal of Kalamazoo’s Joel Martin. Smith wrapped the puck around the goal and banked the puck off the skate of Martin, cutting the Wings’ lead in half. It was the only marker of the second period, and the teams entered the third in a highly-contested affair.

After withstanding an early barrage from Florida in the opening minutes of the third period, the Wings opened up their lead to a pair of goals with some accurate and crafty passing. Brian Hart rifled the puck across the ice to Cam Darcy, whose backdoor pass was tapped home by Schneider for his second of the night.

With Kalamazoo leading by a pair, Florida cranked up their pressure and opportunities ensued. With a multitude of chances in the Wings’ end, the Everblades created havoc in front of the net, allowing a loose puck to be jammed in by Stephen MacAulay. The tally cut the Kalamazoo lead to 3-2 with under five minutes remaining in regulation.

With Nedeljkovic on the bench in favor of an extra attacker, the Everblades banged on the door but the Wings refused to let them in. Martin stood tall during the barrage, and the Kalamazoo defense helped lead the team to a one-goal victory over the visitors.

Next: Kalamazoo vs. Norfolk Admirals- Friday, March 24, 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: Schneider is on a seven-game point streak and has points in 11 of his last 12 games…Wednesday marked the first time Kalamazoo and Florida have met for a game since 2/14/15… Both Kalamazoo and Florida went 0/2 on the power play… Lane Scheidl left the game during the first period with an injury and didn’t return…Kyle Blaney appeared in his first game since 2/17.

Stats: http://www.echl.com/game-summary?game_id=14662

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.

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