BOISE, ID— The Kalamazoo Wings capped off their season-long 12-day, seven-game road trip with their fifth win of the excursion, by toppling the Idaho Steelheads, 3-2, in overtime on Saturday night at CenturyLink Arena.
Surviving an early flurry of chances from the Steelheads, the Wings needed a few minutes under their belt before the wheels began to turn. Michael Garteig made seven early saves on Idaho chances, and Brendan Bradley eventually got Kalamazoo on the board first. Bradley carved into the Steelheads’ zone and walked to the middle of the ice, where he sailed a wrist shot over the glove of Philippe Desrosiers and into the top corner for his eighth of the year.
Bradley’s strike was the only goal of the first period and sent the Wings into the dressing room with a 1-0 edge.
The second period was a fast and physical stanza, with high-quality chances on both ends of the ice. Kalamazoo had the bulk of the scoring opportunities, but Desrosiers made 15 stops on 15 shots faced. Garteig faced eight shots from the attacking Steelheads, and the Wings’ goaltender answered the call on each effort from Idaho. The scoreless second period sent the teams into the third period with the Wings gripping a 1-0 lead.
Trailing by a goal in the third period, the Steelheads equalized with an odd-man-rush up the ice after dodging a scoring chance in their own end. After the Wings were unable to capitalize on a point-blank try, Idaho gained possession and scurried ahead on a two-on-one. Cole Ully slid the puck across to Jefferson Dahl, who wristed the tying goal into the net.
Less than a minute later and looking to re-establish their lead, Kalamazoo used crisp puck movement to generate a chance on Desrosiers. J.T. Stenglein was able to steer the puck to the front of the goal, and Bradley hauled the pass in, patiently waited until a window opened, and deposited his second of the night.
As the back and forth chances continued into the waning minutes of regulation, the Steelheads earned a late power play opportunity and produced the game-tying goal. With Desrosiers pulled and two extra attackers on the ice, Idaho caused havoc in front of the net and the loose puck was spotted by Will Merchant, who poked in the tying tally with 35 seconds remaining in regulation. The goal knotted the game at two and sent the teams into a three-on-three overtime session.
2:25 into the overtime period, Kalamazoo earned the game winner, courtesy of Justin Taylor. Aaron Irving was fed the puck by Bradley, and tapped it into the slot area, where it was pulled in by Taylor. Spinning to his backhand, Taylor knuckled the puck to the net, where it slipped under the arm of Desrosiers to seal the Wings’ road victory.
Next: Kalamazoo @ Quad City Mallards- Friday, January 19, 8:05 p.m., TaxSlayer Center.
Broadcast information: Friday’s game will air on AM 1660 The Fan in Kalamazoo 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.