Kalamazoo (4-10-0-1) vs. Wheeling (6-8-2-0)
Listen: 1660 The Fan
Last Time Out:
A five goal outburst at the start of the third period was the difference on Saturday night as the K-Wings dropped their sixth straight, falling 6-3 to Indy. Kalamazoo scored once in both the first and second period to grab onto a 2-1 lead after forty minutes of play. Once the third period commenced Indy got five goals from four different skaters in the span of 5:12 pushing themselves ahead of the K-Wings. Late in the period Kalamazoo got a power play tally from Wade Murphy, bringing the visitors within three, but a single goal was all Kalamazoo would muster. Jake Hildebrand stopped 26 of 32 shots in the loss for Kalamazoo. The defeat was the K-Wings sixth straight.
Surging on the Man-Advantage:
Wade Murphy's power play goal on Saturday night was the third power play goal that Kalamazoo has scored in their last three games. After struggling to start the season, scoring only two power play goals in the first eight games of the year, Kalamazoo has recorded a power play marker in six of the last seven games. During that seven game span the K-Wings are 7-for-31 (22.58%) on the man-advantage. The K-Wings game against Cincinnati on Nov. was the only game where they were held scoreless on the power play. Kalamazoo only had one opportunity in that game. The K-Wings currently sit 22nd on the power play in the ECHL (13.1%).
Forward Colin Jacobs will skate in his 200th ECHL game on Tuesday night. The forward turned pro at the end of the 2012-13 season and has appeared in games with Elmira, Atlanta, Toledo, Wichita, and Kalamazoo.
After playing in the North Division in the 2017-18 season the Nailers head to the Central Division starting in 2018-19. Wheeling and Kalamazoo played twice last season as cross conference foes, with each side coming out victorious once. In the last five years the teams have played a total of 25 times, with the K-Wings posting a record of 11-12-1-1. In Kalamazoo however the K-Wings have been much better against the Nailers, going 7-5-0-1. The divisional foes will play eight times during the 2018-19 season, including twice over the next week.
Scouting the Nailers:
The Nailers enter the Tuesday matchup on an up-swing, having won four of their last six games. Wheeling began the season with only one victory in the first seven games, before working their way back up the standings. The Nailers will be without leading scorer Troy Josephs on Tuesday night, however, as he was recalled to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Monday afternoon. Joesphs had recorded 18 points (12g, 6a) in his first 13 games with the Nailers. With Josephs recalled, Nick Saracino is now the Nailers leading scorer with 12 points (4g, 8a). Saracino and Zac Lynch also lead the team with four goals each.
Between the pipes Matt O'Connor is the only netminder who has seen action in the ECHL this season, that's currently with the Nailers. O'Connor has made five starts, going 2-2-1-0, along with a 2.80 goals against average and a .891 save percentage. He has started each of the last two games for Wheeling with John Muse recalled to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Tuesday night is a Winning Weekday for the K-Wings meaning that if the K-Wings win all fans in attendance can redeem their tickets for a free ticket to the next week day home game.
Kalamazoo wraps up November and begins a busy December with a pair of games on the road this weekend against Wheeling and Reading. Friday night will be the lone match up of the season with the Royals, while Saturday is the second meeting of the week with the Nailers.
The K-Wings return home next weekend for a three-in-three all at home from Dec. 7,8,9. Kalamazoo will play 15 total games during December and 11 of those will be played at Wings Event Center.