Kalamazoo (4-9-0-1) at Indy (8-8-0-0)
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Last Time Out:
A K-Wing comeback fell just short on Friday night in Kalamzoo as Fort Wayne topped the home team 4-2. The Komets scored three times in the opening period getting tallies from Justin Kea, JC Campagna, and Jake Kamrass to give themselves a 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission. In the middle frame the Komets pushed the lead to four goals as Justin Hodgman netted his sixth of the season. The 4-0 lead would last into the second intermission, but it wasn't around for long in the third.
Chad McDonald and the K-Wing power play got the home side on the board in the final period 1:57 in. McDonald's second of the season was a power play tally, and his second of the season. Late in the period down by three the K-Wing power play scored again as Kyle Thomas netted his third of the season with just under 2:30 left to play. Thomas' tally was the last one the K-Wings would get though, as Lukas Hafner stopped 13 of 15 shots in the third, and 34 of 36 shots overall in the victory for the Komets. The defeat was the K-Wings fifth straight loss, and ninth in their last ten games.
Staying Out of the Box... Literally:
Friday night the K-Wings took zero penalty minutes against the Komets. It was only the third time in since joining the ECHL that Kalamazoo stayed out of the penalty box completely. The last time the K-Wings did not record a single penalty minute was on March 17, 2017 at home against the Indy Fuel. Prior to that they had completed the feat on March 21, 2015 vs. Toledo, when there were no penalty minutes against either side, and March 20, 2013 against Wheeling.
Kalamazoo is averaging 17.00 penalty minutes per game this season. The K-Wings are the seventh most penalized team in the ECHL. Rapid City is the most penalized team and the only team averaging more than 20 penalty minutes per game (23.50).
Saturday is the second of 12 meetings between the Fuel and K-Wings this season. Indy took the previous matchup 8-4 in the K-Wings first game of the season. Matt (3a) and Ryan Rupert (2g, 1a) led all skaters in that contest with three points each. Altogether the Fuel had five players record multi-point nights in the victory on Oct. 13. Kalamazoo got goals from four different skaters in the game, Collins, Dirk, Taylor, and Thomas, while no K-Wing had more than a single point in the game.
Jake Hildebrand started the Oct. 13 contest surrendering six goals, before giving way to Keegan Asmundson, who surrendered two in relief. Matt Tomkins claimed the victory in net for the Fuel, stopping 25 of 29 shots.
A pair of K-Wings will be wearing different numbers on Saturday due to the special Marvel Night Jerseys Kalamazoo will be wearing. Wearing special Rocket Raccoon jerseys to offset Indy's Groot jerseys, K-Wing forward Tommy Mele will wear number 19 while goaltender Ivan Kulbakov will wear number 30. Saturday's jerseys will be available for auction on Meigray.com in the weeks following the game.
Power Play On the Board:
Going two-for-four on the man-advantage on Friday night helped push the K-Wings power play to 13.1% (8-for-61) on the season. Friday was also only the second time this season that the K-Wings have score multiple power play goals in the same game. Kalamazoo ranks 23rd on the man-advantage this season.
Their 61 opportunities on the man-advantage ranks among the fewest in the ECHL however. Only four other teams (Tulsa, Manchester, Florida, Wheeling) have had fewer chances with the man-advantage than the K-Wings this season.
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.