KALAMAZOO, MI— The Kalamazoo Wings established two separate leads during the night, but they could not withstand the late offensive attack from the Indy Fuel during a 5-3 loss on Thursday at Wings Event Center.
For the first time in four games, the Wings surrendered the game’s first goal, as the Fuel needed 5:38 to strike for the opening tally. A shot from Ryan Rupert redirected across the ice to a wide-open Alex Wideman, who deposited the puck into the back of the goal.
Less than three minutes later and on a power play, Kalamazoo deadlocked the game at a goal apiece. The Wings possessed on the outside of the attacking zone, and a tape-to-tape feed from Kyle Blaney to Justin Taylor on the backdoor allowed Taylor to tap in his team-leading 16th goal of the season.
It didn’t take long for Kalamazoo to take the lead, as Scott Henegar’s terrific display of hand-eye coordination propelled the Wings ahead on the scoresheet. Aaron Irving’s shot was saved by Indy’s Etienne Marcoux, but the rebound skipped to Henegar, who knocked the puck down with his body and batted it out of mid-air to swat in his fifth of the year.
Trailing by a goal in the beginning stages of the second period, Indy upped their tempo and tied the game, courtesy of Darian Dziurzynski. The Fuel winger set up in front of the goal on a power play and made a nice move to free space and scoop the puck into the roof of the net for his third of the year.
Minutes later, the Wings took their second advantage of the night as Aaron Irving notched the first goal of his career. Irving had the puck land on his stick in the right-wing corner, and he carried to the net, unleashing a shot from an acute angle. Somehow the puck skipped through the legs of Marcoux and trickled over the line, bumping the score to 3-2 in favor of the Wings.
Indy took control from that point forward, and tied the game in the closing minutes of the second period. A picturesque passing play by the visitors saw Rupert to fling a rink-wide pass to Reed Seckel, who blasted a one-timer past a sprawling Michael Garteig.
Earning a power play 54 seconds into the third, Indy tallied for the fourth time of the night with the extra attacker. Stephen Collins was handed the puck at the top of the right circle, and he threaded a long wrist shot through a screen and over the blocker of Garteig. Collins’ goal would hold as the eventual game winner.
Indy put the icing on the cake with their fifth goal of the evening, 12:54 into the final period. Dziurzynski caught a pass on an odd-man rush, and quickly zipped the puck into the goal, padding an insurmountable two-goal lead for the Fuel.
Next: Kalamazoo @ Toledo Walleye- Friday, December 29, 7:15 p.m., Huntington 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.