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Wings win third in a row with silencing of Thunder

Friday, March 23rd
Wings win third in a row with silencing of Thunder

KALAMAZOO, MI— The Kalamazoo Wings, led by three-point nights from Josh Pitt and Danny Moynihan, earned their third-straight win by toppling the Wichita Thunder in a 5-3 final on Thursday night at Wings Event Center.

Earning an early five-on-three advantage, the Wings made the Thunder pay with their potent special teams. Holding the puck at the top of the circles, Eric Kattelus slid a pass across to Pitt, who blasted a one-timer into the top corner of the net for his league-leading 13th power play goal of the season.

On yet another man-advantage later on in the frame, Kalamazoo doubled their lead by using a strong net-front presence. Kyle Bushee drove a long shot from the blue line, and it was slowed down in front by Lane Scheidl, who shifted it to his backhand to deposit the puck past Nick Riopel. Scheidl’s late first-period goal sent the Wings into the dressing room with a 2-0 lead.

The Thunder rumbled back with their first of the night, just 4:21 into the second period. Setting up on at the point, Nolan Descoteaux shuffled the puck across the ice to Jeremy Beaudry, who unleashed a slap shot past Joel Martin, cutting the Kalamazoo edge to a goal.

Later on in the period, Kalamazoo re-established their two goal lead on the heels of a beautiful passing play from Brendan Bradley to Jimmy Mullin. Bradley curled to the top of the left-wing circle with the puck, spotted Mullin at the back door and delivered a tape-to-tape strike, allowing Mullin to tap in his 19th goal of the season.

Kalamazoo took a game-high, three-goal lead less than 90 seconds later and on a power play. Camping out at the top of the left circle, Moynihan reeled in a pass and spotted a short-side window over the shoulder of Riopel. Moynihan tucked a shot under the bar and put Kalamazoo ahead, 4-1, heading into the second intermission.

Wichita showed no quit and had a hard-to-match energy in the third period and eventually cut into the deficit they faced. Dyson Stevenson pulled the visitors to within two goals with a quick-strike shot off a faceoff, 7:24 into the third.

With Riopel on the bench for an extra attacker, the Thunder cut the Wings’ lead to one goal for the second time on the night, as Nick Latta earned his eighth of the year. Latta’s one-timer from the left wing soared over a sliding Martin and made it 4-3 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

That’s as close as the Thunder would get, as Kyle Blaney sealed the Wings’ win with an empty-net tally with 40 seconds remaining on the clock. Scheidl angled a clearance off the wall, allowing Blaney to chase it down and walk it into the open goal, clinching the game.

Next: Kalamazoo @ Toledo Walleye- Sunday, March 25, 5:15 p.m., Huntington Center.

Broadcast information: Sunday’s game will air on AM 1660 The Fan or online at www.1660thefan.com/listen-live.

Stats: https://www.echl.com/stats/game-center/15793

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.

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'DUMB AND DUMBER' NIGHT | $3 FRIDAY
Friday, March 8th
'DUMB AND DUMBER' NIGHT | $3 FRIDAY
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