KALAMAZOO, MI— The Kalamazoo Wings fell into a 4-0 hole that proved too overwhelming to overcome, as they fell short in the second straight night to the Indy Fuel in a 5-2 final on Sunday at Wings Event Center.
After scoring five goals the night before, the Fuel didn’t skip a beat at the start of Sunday’s game. Just 3:05 into regulation and while shorthanded, Indy created a two-on-one opportunity after a neutral-zone steal. Cam Reid walked into the zone, toe-dragged around a defender and slid a pass to Ryan Rupert for a one-time finish.
A handful of minutes later, Tommy Olczyk doubled the Fuel lead with his ninth of the season. Joel Martin made a first-chance save on Johnny McInnis, but the rebound wasn’t cleared away and Olcyzk hunted it down, giving Indy a 2-0 gap.
54 seconds later, the Fuel continued their first-period dominance and increased their lead to three goals. Robin Press started the attack forward and found a soft spot in the Kalamazoo defense, allowing him to power a wrist shot under the arm of Martin and in. The goal at 8:37 of the frame capped off the first-period scoring as the Wings went into the intermission facing a 3-0 hole.
Four minutes into the second period and already up by three, Indy had no intention of slowing down as they opened up a four-goal edge. Josh Shalla came away with the puck and found a soft spot in the Kalamazoo zone, allowing him to snipe the glove-side corner of the net for his ninth of the season.
Trying to scramble back into the game, the Wings used their potent power play to get on the board for the first time on the night. Jon Jutzi flung a shot to the net that appeared to be stopped by Etienne Marcoux, but play resumed as the puck dribbled under his body and into the crease where Josh Pitt hooked it over the line.
10 minutes later and on their third man advantage of the game, the Wings were able to slice into the Fuel lead yet again. Danny Moynihan freed the puck to Jutzi, who unloaded on a long slap shot that angled off the stick of a Fuel defender and into the top corner of the goal.
As the Wings tried to erase the two goal deficit, they removed Martin in favor of an extra attacker. A shot from the point was gloved down by Rupert and slid down the length of the ice into the open goal.
Next: Kalamazoo vs. Rapid City Rush- Thursday, February 1, 7 p.m., Wings Event Center.
Broadcast information: Thursday’s game will air on AM 590/FM 106.9 WKZO in Kalamazoo or online at http://player.listenlive.co/29131.
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.