KALAMAZOO, MI— The Kalamazoo Wings earned a point by going to overtime, but they faltered in the extra session during a 4-3 loss to the Indy Fuel on Saturday at Wings Event Center.
After an evenly-matched first 18 minutes of play in the first period, the Wings finally cracked the code of the Fuel’s defense. Earning a two-on-one up the ice, Justin Taylor fired a rink-wide feed to Danny Moynihan, who reached back to uncork a wrist shot which beat Matt Tomkins to the stick side. Moynihan’s goal was his 13th of the season and the only marker of the first period, giving Kalamazoo a 1-0 lead at the break.
Continuing their efficiency into the second period, Kalamazoo went ahead by a 2-0 margin after Josh Pitt scored his 26th goal of the year. Pitt held the puck in the attacking zone and created enough separation from a Fuel defender before letting a long-range wrist shot fly towards the goal. Pitt’s shot curled through traffic and slipped into the back of the net, past a screened Tomkins.
The Wings padded their lead to three goals less than three minutes later and while killing a penalty. Tyler Biggs forced a steal in the defensive end and paced a feed to Justin Taylor, who carried in on a breakaway. Taylor snapped a quick wrist shot from the low slot and was able to dribble the drive in for his team-leading 29th of the year.
Before the penalty came to a close, Indy cashed in with the extra attacker, as Alex Wideman rifled a short-side wrist shot over the shoulder of Joel Martin for his 15th of the season. Wideman’s late second-period finish capped off the scoring in a tightly-contested second period.
Indy began mounting their improbable comeback in the middle stages of the third period after throwing everything they had at the Wings’ defense. Garrett Clarke found a soft spot in the low slot and ripped a wrister into the back of the net to make it 3-2.
The Fuel eventually tied the game at three apiece with under seven minutes remaining in regulation as Josh Shalla scurried into the Wings zone and toe-dragged his way to the slot. In the scoring area, Shalla sent a shot the net and it leaked under the arm of Martin and trickled into the net.
The 3-3 tie couldn’t be broken in the closing minutes of regulation and the game was sent to a three-on-three overtime session. Midway through the overtime, the Fuel earned the game winner, courtesy of Matt Iacopelli. After taking the puck away, Iacopelli attacked the Wings’ zone and carved to the outside before lifting a backhand into the roof of the net for the winning tally.
Next: Kalamazoo @ Ft. Wayne Komets- Sunday, March 11, 5 p.m., Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
Broadcast information: Sunday’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.