NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.— The Kalamazoo Wings were provided a terrific performance by Joel Martin in net, but an early two-goal hole created by a spell of bad bounces proved too difficult to overcome during a 2-1 loss to the South Carolina Stingrays on Tuesday at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Plagued by a wave of unfortunate breaks in the first period, the Wings fell behind, 2-0, in the first 7:14 of regulation. On an early power play, South Carolina’s Jake Kamrass set-up possession on the right wing side, and his backdoor feed ricocheted off a Kalamazoo skate and dribbled into the net.
Less than three minutes later, another unexpected bounce put the Wings back by a pair. Kelly Zajac moved into the Kalamazoo zone and centered a pass to Paul Geiger, who saw the try bounce off his skates and quickly change directions before slipping between the legs of an unsuspecting Martin.
The second period showcased opportunities on both ends of the ice, but it was the goaltenders who had the biggest impact. Martin made 13 second-period saves on South Carolina chances, while his counterpart Parker Milner made six stops of his own to send the teams into the second intermission in the same fashion as the first.
Throwing everything they had at South Carolina in the third period, the Wings clawed their way to within a goal in the closing minutes of regulation. With Martin on the bench in favor of an extra attacker, Aaron Irving made it a 2-1 game with a pinpointed one-timer. Kyle Bushee worked the puck across to Irving, whose blast flew over the glove of Milner with 1:42 left on the clock.
Kalamazoo continued to pressure Milner in the waning moments, but the Stingrays slammed the door shut and prevented the Wings from gaining any more ground, and the game ended in a 2-1 final favoring the home team.
Next: Kalamazoo @ Atlanta Gladiators- Wednesday, March 28, 7:05 p.m., Infinite Energy Arena.
Broadcast information: Wednesday’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.