BOISE, ID— The Kalamazoo Wings were backstopped by a vintage Joel Martin performance and lock-down defense on their way to a 3-2 road victory on Friday night at CenturyLink Arena.
After an inability to capitalize on a handful of chances in the first period, Kalamazoo’s persistence paid off in the final minutes of the frame. While on a power play, Josh Pitt swung the puck to Jimmy Mullin, who undressed a defender with a shifty move, and roofed a backhand into the stick-side corner of the goal.
The Wings continued their control of the tempo, but surrendering a power play opportunity late in the second period allowed the Steelheads to tie the game at one. Throwing everyone at the goal to scramble Martin, Idaho received a hometown bounce near the net, and the puck landed on the stick of Justin Parizek, who fired in his 17th of the year.
The tie lasted just over three minutes before Kalamazoo flexed their muscles and took the lead right back. Scott Henegar gained the Idaho line along the left side, and floated a wrist shot towards the net. Relentlessly crashing to the goal, Brendan Bradley got his stick on the Henegar shot, sending the puck looping over the shoulder of the netminder and across the line.
Early in the third period and peppering Martin to try and equalize, the Steelheads garnered up a tying goal, courtesy of Connor Chatham. After Martin made a terrific save, the loose puck was blindly backhanded to the net by Chatham, who earned his seventh of the year at a critical moment.
Going to their fifth power play of the night, Kalamazoo continued their torrid man-advantage pace and Kyle Bushee generated what was the eventual game-winner. Bushee possessed the puck on the right wing side and looked to work a rink-wide feed across the zone. His pass rattled off the leg of a defender and darted straight to the net, where an unsuspecting Philippe Desrosiers allowed it to trickle in.
With time winding down and Desrosiers on the bench for an extra attacker, the Wings’ defense slammed the door on the Steelheads’ pressure and allowed Kalamazoo to grind out a 3-2 victory.
Next: Kalamazoo @ Idaho Steelheads- Saturday, January 13, 9:10 p.m., CenturyLink Arena.
Broadcast information: Saturday’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.