WICHITA, KS— The Kalamazoo Wings generated countless chances, but 38 of their 39 shots were stopped by Joel Rumpel, who led the Wichita Thunder to a 4-1 victory on Sunday night at INTRUST Bank Arena.
After beginning the period with a 7-0 shot differential in favor of Kalamazoo, the Thunder came alive and earned a multitude of opportunities. With the Wings caught on the ice after three straight icing infractions, the Thunder took advantage of the tired Wings’ skaters and capitalized. Dyson Stevenson swept the puck to the front of the goal, and an un-checked Matt DeBlouw stepped up to the puck and wired it into the top corner of the goal for the first period’s lone tally.
The second period was a back-and-forth affair, with a majority of the scoring chances coming from Kalamazoo. Though they heavily outshot Wichita, 20-10, during the period, the Wings could not find an equalizer and went into the second intermission facing the same 1-0 deficit they faced after the first 20 minutes.
Early in the third period, Wichita doubled their lead on a tic-tac-toe play in front of the Kalamazoo goal. Steven Iacobellis fed a tape-to-tape feed to the backdoor, where Ralph Cuddemi was on the receiving end and tapped in his third goal of the season.
Three minutes later, an impressive individual display from Evan Polei opened the Thunder lead to a three-goal margin. Polei gained the line along the right-wing side and carried past a Kalamazoo defender on his way to the goal. He held the puck and hesitated just enough to allow a window to open over the stick side of Michael Garteig.
Down by three and on a power play, Kalamazoo converted for their lone tally of the evening. Kyle Blaney and Justin Taylor linked up for a well-timed give-and-go play, which saw Blaney slip in behind the defense for an uncontested effort. Blaney drove towards the net and lifted a wrist shot into the roof for his second of the season.
Wichita sealed the game less than three minutes later, courtesy of Stevenson. The forward joined an odd-man rush into the Kalamazoo zone, and found a soft spot in the slot to haul in a Greg Chase pass and fire it into the net, capping off a 4-1 victory for the Thunder.
Next: Kalamazoo @ Kansas City Mavericks- Wednesday, November 29, 8:05 p.m., Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
Broadcast information: Wednesday’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.