FT. WAYNE, IN— The Kalamazoo Wings were led by Michael Garteig’s 30 saves and Brendan Bradley’s overtime heroics on their way to a 3-2 win over the Ft. Wayne Komets on Wednesday at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
Controlling the opening period of play in both time of possession and scoring chances, the Wings wasted little time in taking the first lead of the night. Forcing a steal in the defensive zone, Danny Moynihan started the Wings’ transition through center with his great speed. After gaining the Komets’ line, Moynihan dropped the puck off to Ben Wilson, who joined the attack. Hauling in the feed on the right wing, Wilson looked up, and fired a stick-side wrist shot over the leg of Michael Houser for the only goal of the first period.
Midway through the second period and on their first power play of the game, the Wings doubled their lead. Winning an offensive-zone faceoff, the puck was drawn back to Aaron Irving, who let a long shot fly towards the goal. Justin Taylor was at the front of the net and re-directed Irving’s shot, sending it fluttering over Houser and in for his 30th of the season.
Five minutes later, the Komets struck for their first goal of the contest by using a net-front deflection by Justin Hodgman. Dan Maggio threw an off-speed shot towards the net, and Hodgman reached back to tip the puck, allowing it to slide past the leg of Garteig. The late Ft. Wayne goal cut the Wings’ lead to 2-1 after two periods of play.
With under two minutes remaining in regulation and throwing everything they had at the Wings’ goal, the Komets eventually buried the game-tying goal. Creating a scramble in front of Garteig’s net, the loose puck was spotted by Marcus Basara, who poked it over the line to tie the game late, eventually forcing overtime.
In the extra session, Kalamazoo earned a power play after a poor change by the Komets’ resulted in a too-many-men infraction. With the extra space, Kyle Blaney spotted Bradley in the high slot and zipped him a pass. Bradley faked a shot to freeze Houser, then lifted a glove-side shot into the net for the game winner.
Next: Kalamazoo vs. Wichita Thunder- Thursday, March 22, 7 p.m., Wings Event Center.
Broadcast information: Thursday’s game will air on AM 1660 The Fan or online at www.1660thefan.com/listen-live.
Photo credit: Kimberly Moss
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.