INDIANAPOLIS, IN— The Kalamazoo Wings heavily outshot the Indy Fuel by a 47-23 margin, but solid goaltending and timely scoring lifted the Fuel to a 6-2 victory over the Wings on Friday night at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
Kalamazoo controlled the opening minutes of the first period, but the Fuel were able to withstand the barrage of opportunities and create a flurry of chances of their own. While shorthanded, Indy forced the Wings’ defense into a turnover, allowing Nathan Noel to waltz to the goal and pick the top corner.
Less than two minutes later, the Wings pulled even while working on their fourth of seven power plays during the first period. Josh Pitt set up the play along the right wing side, and had a window to fire a shot which leaked passed Indy goalie Etienne Marcoux, who was screened in front by Tyler Heinonen.
Indy kept on the gas and scored yet another shorthanded goal, which was created by smothering pressure in the neutral zone. Reed Seckel swiped the puck from a Wings skater and tapped it ahead for Noel who buried another top-corner wrist shot.
With under two minutes remaining in the period and the teams skating four on four, Indy padded their lead by a pair of goals. Cam Reid moved in and snapped an innocent wrist shot from long range which knuckled and sailed over the glove of Wings’ starting netminder Michael Garteig. After giving up three goals on six shots, Garteig was pulled in favor of Joel Martin.
Picking up where they left off after the intermission, Indy increased their edge to three goals after a beautiful back door feed from Reid to Nick Bligh, who casually tapped in his sixth of the year to create a 4-1 score.
The Wings showed no quit as the period continued, and Kalamazoo clawed to within two goals. Aaron Irving started a forward-moving attack and pushed the puck along to Lane Scheidl on the left wing. Scheidl blasted a long drive that was kicked away by Marcoux, but directly onto the stick of Heinonen, who waited patiently for a corner to open, and deposited the puck into the goal to cut the score to 4-2 at the end of two periods.
While on a power play in the third period, the Fuel put the game out of reach with their fifth goal of the night. Reid got the puck into Wings’ territory and shuffled a pass to the right-wing faceoff dot, where Alex Wideman blasted a one-timer over the glove of Martin.
Later on in the period, Tommy Olczyk sealed the victory with an empty net tally, helping the Fuel to a decisive 6-2 win.
Next: Kalamazoo @ Brampton Beast- Thursday, November 23, 11 a.m., Powerade Centre.
Broadcast information: Thursday’s game will air on AM 1660 The Fan in Kalamazoo or online at www.1660thefan.com/listen-live.
Notes: Pitt has goals in 5/7 games…Kyle Bushee has points in 5/6 games…Kalamazoo outshot Indy 47-23… Kalamazoo went 1/11 on the power play and 3/4 on the penalty kill…Kalamazoo have lost three in a row and five of their last six games.
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.