Kalamazoo (3-2-0-1) vs Cincinnati (3-1-2-0)
7:30 pm | Wings Event Center
Listen: 1660 the Fan
Last Time Out:
Kalamazoo went past regulation for the second time this season as they fell in a shootout, 3-2 on Tuesday morning. The K-Wings welcomed the Walleye into Wings Event Center for the annual Education Day game. Twice throughout the game the K-Wings dug back from one-goal defecits to tie the game before forcing the extra period. After a scoreless overtime, Kalamazoo headed into the first shootout of the season. The K-Wings were held scoreless on all three attempts in the shootout, while AJ Jenks scored on Toledo's last attempt to seal the victory.
Friday night Kalamazoo and Cincinnati face off for the third time in a week, and the second time in Kalamazoo. The Central Division foes play a total of 11 times this season, including twice more during the month of November. Each of the first two matchups went to the home side, as Kalamazoo won 4-3 in OT on Friday night, before falling 2-1 on Saturday. Last season the teams nearly split the season series, with Kalamazoo finishing with a record of 3-3-1-0 against the Cyclones.
Friday night will be Kyle Bushee's 600th career ECHL game, moving the defenseman into ninth place for all-time games played in the ECHL. Bushee, who is in his third season with the K-Wings, turned pro at the end of the 2007-08 season. After finishing his college career with Canisius College the blueliner made his pro debut with the Cincinnati Cyclones. He has since gone on to play with six additional ECHL clubs, as well as skating in 22 AHL games. During his ECHL tenure he has amassed 246 points (64g, 182 a). A native of Otsego, MI, Bushee is currently 22 games behind Randy Rowe (22) for eighth place. Former K-Wing Sam Ftorek holds the all-time record, having skated in 859 ECHL games from 1998-2018.
Joining the Comets:
Forward Reid Gardiner was called by the Utica Comets on Wednesday morning, and is set to make his Comets debut tonight in Laval. Gardiner, who signed an AHL deal with Utica in July, recorded five points (2g, 3a) in six games this season with the K-Wings prior to being recalled. Last year the forward averaged nearly a point per game while skating for the Wheeling Nailers, before being recalled to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. In his rookie season Gardiner notched 57 points (30g, 27a) in 58 games.
Friday will start the first three-in-three weekend of the season for Kalamazoo. After hosting the Cyclones on Friday the K-Wings will travel to Ft. Wayne on Saturday, before returning home on Sunday afternoon to host Idaho. Kalamazoo will play nine three-in-three series this season, with the bulk coming in December and March.
Finding the Net:
Forward Kyle Blaney's second period goal on Tuesday morning gave the forward a goal in each of his last three games. Last season Blaney set a career high with ten goals, but didn't score his third until Dec. 2 last season. Through the first six games of the regular season Blaney has netted three goals, to go along with three assists, tying him with Kyle Thomas for the team lead in points. Only Justin Taylor (4) has scored more goals than Blaney this season.
After heading to Ft. Wayne on Saturday night the K-Wings return home for a Sunday afternoon matinee game against the Idaho Steelheads. Sunday is Dino Day as the K-Wings will honor the movie series and book Jurassic Park. Dinosaurs will roam the concourse, as well as Dino themed concessions. In addition the first 200 kids in attendance will get a Kyle Thomas player photo. There will also be a post-game skate with the entire team open to the public.
Next weekend the K-Wings will be back at home once again, hosting the Toledo Walleye and Brampton Beast. Saturday's contest against the Brampton Beast will be Military Appreciation Night, featuring special Military jerseys that will be auction off on the ice after the game. Proceeds from the auction will go to Talon's Out.
Kalamazoo Wings single game and half season tickets are available now! More information can be gathered at www.kwings.com.
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.