KALAMAZOO, MI—Led by a 36-save performance by Joel Martin and a hat trick from Justin Taylor, the Kalamazoo Wings earned a lopsided 4-1 victory over the Toledo Walleye on Friday night at Wings Event Center.
Wasting no time in the first period, the Wings took an early lead less than five minutes into regulation. Camped out in the slot area, Tyler Biggs had the puck roll onto his stick, and after settling it down, he spotted a gap in the five hole of Matej Machovsky and fired his shot into the goal for his 10th of the year.
Later on in the period, Taylor carried in on a two-one-one, and benefited from a fortunate bounce off a defender. Taylor’s pass intended for Jimmy Mullin bounced off the stick of Kevin Tansey and through the legs of the Walleye netminder, giving Kalamazoo a 2-1 lead.
Midway through the second period and leading by two goals, the Wings padded their advantage, courtesy of Taylor’s second of the night. While on a power play, Taylor held the puck on the goal line to the left of Machovsky, fired a shot which was initially saved, but Taylor received the rebound and roofed it into the net.
Toledo got on the board for their lone strike less than six minutes into the third period. Erik Bradford scooted up the left wing side and slid a well-placed wrist shot past Martin, cutting the Wings’ lead to 3-1.
Taylor sealed the victory and his hat trick with his late third period tally, thanks to a beautiful feed from Lane Scheidl. On an odd-man-rush, Schiedl spotted an open Taylor on the back door, leaving his teammate for an easy tap in to bump the lead to an insurmountable 4-1 advantage in favor of Kalamazoo.
Next: Kalamazoo vs. Indy Fuel- Thursday, December 28, 7:00 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.