KALAMAZOO, MI— Trailing by as many as three goals during the game, the Kalamazoo Wings used resilience and timely offense—including a four-goal third period—on their way to a 6-4 win over the Indy Fuel on Saturday night at Wings Event Center.
Falling behind in the first two minutes of regulation, the quick-tempo Indy Fuel punished Kalamazoo with a net-front redirection. Robin Press zipped the puck to Darian Dziurzynski, who angled a deflection over the left leg of Joel Martin.
Just over three minutes later, the Fuel doubled their lead after a net-front scramble left a loose puck on the doorstep. Josh Shalla received a backdoor feed and fired a one-timer off the post, but the loose puck in the mayhem landed on the stick of Matt Rupert, who casually deposited his 10th of the year.
Padding their lead moments later, Indy used a beautiful passing play to go ahead 3-0. Stephen Collins flung a no-look backhand pass across the ice, and it linked up with Mike Neal who one-timed his team-leading 14th of the year.
Not going down without a fight in the first period, the Wings earned their first goal of the evening after finally generating some sustained pressure in the offensive zone. Aaron Irving possessed the puck on the right wing wall and moved towards the corner where fired a wrist shot that leaked through the pads of ET Marcoux and made it 3-1.
Looking to mount a comeback in the second period, Danny Moynihan pulled Kalamazoo to within a goal with under 1:30 remaining in the frame. Hauling in the puck after it bounced off a loose stick, Moynihan walked to the middle of the attacking zone and angled a shot which ended up in the top of the goal.
The Fuel would re-establish their two-goal lead just 22 seconds later as Tommy Olczyk cashed in on a rebound try following an initial save by Martin.
Down by two entering the third period, the game shifted and it was all Kalamazoo for the rest of the way. Three minutes into the final frame, Lane Scheidl tipped a long shot from Kyle Bushee, re-directing the puck over the leg of Marcoux for his 10th goal of the year.
Midway through the period and on their second power play try of the evening, J.T. Stenglein clawed the Wings even by getting a piece of an Irving shot from the blue line. Stenglein screened Marcoux in front of the goal and Irving’s shot bounced off of the Wings’ forward and over the pads of the sprawling Indy netminder.
Tied with under three minutes remaining, the momentum of Kalamazoo couldn’t be stopped. Moynihan used his speed to slip past a defender on the right side, drive to the goal, and stuff a second-chance try over the line for his second goal of the night.
With Marcoux on the bench for an extra attacker, Jimmy Mullin sealed the Kalamazoo win with an empty net tally. Forcing a steal at his own blue line, Mullin danced to the middle of the ice, crossed center, and flung a 100-foot drive into the goal.
Next: Kalamazoo vs. Indy Fuel- Sunday, February 11, 3 p.m., Wings Event Center.
Broadcast information: Sunday’s game will air on AM 1660 The Fan or online at www.1660thefan.com/listen-live.
Single-game tickets are on sale! Tickets start as low as $10 and can be purchased at http://kwings.com/SingleGameTickets or at the Wings Event Center box office.
Wings Event Center, owned and operated by Greenleaf Hospitality Group, is home to the Kalamazoo Wings professional hockey team 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.