KALAMAZOO, MI— The Kalamazoo Wings set a new season high for goals in a game as they used an eight-unanswered-goal burst in the first and second period to topple the Tulsa Oilers, 9-6, on Wednesday at Wings Event Center.
Earning the game’s first chances, the visiting Oilers took the opening lead of the night after a great shot from Garrett Ladd, who had the puck land on his tape from a pass by Charlie Sampair.
Kalamazoo took complete control from that point on, as the Wings scored five goals in a span of 12:32 of gameplay from 6:19-18:52 of the first period. The outburst started with Justin Taylor’s breakaway tally which moved him into a tie with Mitch Messier for fourth most all-time in career goals with the K-Wings.
Sean O’Rourke added his second of the year after flinging a long, short-hopping shot to the goal which trickled through the legs of Devin Williams and made it 2-1. Less than three minutes later, Kalamazoo’s domination of the first period continued, courtesy of Jimmy Mullin. Mullin hauled in a right wing pass, carried to the goal and waited patiently for Williams to be out of position before sliding a backhand over the line.
Kalamazoo scored twice more with under six minutes remaining in the first, with Josh Pitt tallying his 17th of the year on a low-and-away wrist shot that flew into the stick-side of the goal. Aaron Irving unleashed a rocket of a slap shot to cap off a five-goal first period, including four straight from the Wings, who headed into the locker room with a 5-1 lead.
Not missing a step in the second, Kalamazoo continued to pad their lead and rattled off three goals in the first 6:06 of the second period, closing out an eight-unanswered-goal run. Mullin struck for the second time of the night with a rebound tally, then Pitt and Irving each added their second of the night, as the game reached an 8-1 margin in favor of the home team.
Conner Bleackley broke up the Wings’ scoring stretch at the 8:01 of the second period with a top-corner-seeking wrist shot on a power play.
The Wings’ power play proceeded to flex its muscles before period’s end, and Brendan Bradley joined the goal parade for his 10th of the season. His late-period strike gave Kalamazoo a 9-2 lead entering the third period.
The third belonged to the Oilers, who outshot the Wings, 22-7, in the frame and scored four goals of their own. Dan DeSalvo, Adam Pleskach, Alexandre Ranger and Charlie Sampair each earned markers for Tulsa, who scratched their way back to a 9-6 margin.
The Wings settled down defensively in the final eight minutes of regulation and halted the desperate attack of Tulsa, and closed out a 9-6 win in a goal-filled affair.
Next: Kalamazoo @ Brampton Beast- Friday, February 9, 7:15 p.m., Powerade Centre.
Broadcast information: Friday’s game will air on AM 1660 The Fan 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.