KALAMAZOO, MI— The Kalamazoo Wings flung a season-high 56 shots on net but fell victim to red-hot goaltending by Greg Dodds, as Kalamazoo came up short by a 5-3 margin on Saturday night at Wings Event Center.
Not skipping a beat from last night’s seven-goal performance, the Wings opened up the night’s scoring in the first five minutes of regulation. While on a power play, Kalamazoo linked up for a tic-tac-toe play that started with Danny Moynihan’s pass to Brendan Bradley. Bradley spotted Josh Pitt in front of the net and served him up for a one-timer that flew into the net.
Just over two minutes later, the Fuel evened the game at one after a Cam Reid deflection in front of the goal. A long drive by Robin Press was tipped in front by Reid, who angled it past Michael Garteig for his 9th of the year. The 1-1 score eventually held for the rest of the period and sent the teams into their locker rooms in a deadlock.
Though the Wings heavily outshot and out-chanced the Fuel in the first half of the second period, it was the visitors who took the lead. Ryan Rupert forced a steal and walked in on a two-on-one, where his wrist shot was kicked off the pad of Garteig and onto the stick of Stephen Collins for an easy deposit.
Adding to their total, Press made it 3-1 Fuel after converting on a low slot wrist shot. Brandon Anselmini gained the line and dropped the puck along to Press, who had space to drive a wrist shot through the legs of Garteig and in.
Before the period came to a close, Indy created a game-high three-goal lead with time winding down. Stealing the puck while shorthanded, Anselmini walked into the Wings’ zone and lasered a shot over the glove of Garteig and into the net. The goal saw the Wings face a 4-1 deficit after two periods of play.
Early in the third and aiming to mount a comeback, J.T. Stenglein clawed Kalamazoo to within two goals. After Dodds lost his stick from making a save, Moynihan gathered the puck and set up Stenglein for a corner-finding one timer. The goal extended Stenglein’s point streak to seven games, marking the longest streak of any Kalamazoo skater this season.
Just over two minutes later, Kalamazoo pulled to within a goal when they were on the receiving end of some puck luck in the offensive zone. Pitt won a faceoff back to Ben Wilson, who steered the puck across the ice for a Mackenze Stewart one timer. Stewart’s shot caromed off an Indy leg and bounced past Dodds, making it 4-3.
With Garteig on the bench for an extra attacker, Indy sealed the victory with an empty net strike, pushing the Fuel to a 5-3 road victory.
Next: Kalamazoo vs. Indy Fuel- Sunday, January 28, 3 p.m., Wings Event Center.
Broadcast information: Sunday’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.