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Early deficit stymies Wings on road

Thursday, January 11th
Early deficit stymies Wings on road

BOISE, ID— Ben Wilson scored his first goal of the season and Eric Kattelus extended his point streak to six games, but the Kalamazoo Wings were overwhelmed by the Idaho Steelheads during a 6-2 loss on Wednesday at CenturyLink Arena.

Pressuring in the early goings of the first period, the Steelheads took a lead in the opening minutes after Kalamazoo were punished for a neutral-zone turnover. Eric Sweetman forced a steal and dished the puck to Justin Parizek, whose overpowering wrist shot flew into the top corner of the net.

With less than five minutes remaining in the first period, Alexander Dahl gave Idaho a 2-0 lead. Battling for a bouncing puck in front of Michael Garteig’s net, Dahl crept into the scrum and poked the puck over the line and into the back of the goal for his second of the season. Dahl’s late-period tally sent Kalamazoo into the dressing room facing a 2-0 deficit.

Continuing their control of play into the opening seconds of the second period, the Steelheads padded their lead to three, just 26 seconds in. An odd-man-rush up the ice allowed Cole Ully to swing a rink-wide feed to the trailer, Eric Sweetman. After receiving the pass, Sweetman tapped the puck into an open net for his first of the season.

Tacking on to their already large lead, Ully opened up the game to a 4-0 margin with a breakaway tally. Stealing the puck in the offensive zone, Ully carried to the goal and executed a nifty deke to open the net for his first of the night.

20 seconds into the third period, Idaho capitalized on a long lob pass down the length of the ice. Sweetman squeezed an arcing pass behind the Wings’ defense, landing on the tape of Ully. He carried in on Garteig and found a window over the glove, tallying the fifth goal of the night for the Steelheads.

Cody Corbett capped off the night’s scoring for Idaho when he chipped a backhand into the top corner while being hauled to the ice at the 3:24 mark of the final frame.

The Wings showed a spurt of energy down the stretch, as Eric Kattelus tallied five minutes after Corbett. A shot by Aaron Irving was deflected by Kattelus into the ice, resulting in the puck skipping over the head of Steelheads’ goalie Philippe Desrosiers and into the goal. The goal extended Kattelus’s point streak to a Wings’ season-high-tying six games.

On a power play just over two minutes later, Kalamazoo used the extra space in the attacking zone to light the lamp for the second time on the evening. Ben Wilson gathered the puck on the right wing wall and carried to the middle of the ice where he threaded a slap shot through a web of bodies in front and into the goal.

The two third-period goals were all Kalamazoo could muster up, and the Steelheads earned a 6-2 victory on their home ice.

Next: Kalamazoo @ Idaho Steelheads- Friday, January 12, 9:10 p.m., CenturyLink Arena.

Broadcast information: Friday’s game will air on AM 590/FM 106.9 WKZO in Kalamazoo or online at http://player.listenlive.co/29131.

Stats: https://www.echl.com/stats/game-center/15383

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.

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