Kalamazoo, MI. – A 48 save performance from Ivan Kulbakov and three consecutive goals to start the game helped propel the K-Wings past the Wheeling Nailers 6-4 on Tuesday night in Kalamazoo.
Justin Taylor scored twice in the victory, giving the assistant captain his fourth multi-goal game of the year. Matt Joyaux netted his first professional goal in the first period.
Kalamazoo would strike first just 1:39 into the opening period. Former Ohio State Buckeye Matt Joyaux took a pass from Colin Jacobs and buried his first professional goal. Just about four minutes later, Chad McDonald got a friendly bounce in front of the net and gave the K-Wings a 2-0 lead just about five minutes in. Two and a half minutes later Chris Collins extended the K-Wings lead to three. Shorthanded, with a man draped on him, Collins wristed a shot five-hole to make it 3-0 Kalamazoo. However, that lead would be trimmed to one after the first thanks to a pair of Nailer goals Renars Krastenbergs.
The second period was less hectic with only one goal, coming from Kalamazoo’s Justin Taylor. Taylor, parked in front of the net, tipped a Kyle Thomas wrist shot past Danny Trione to extend the lead back to two goals. Kalamazoo led 4-2 at the second break.
The third period featured four goals split between the teams. Seven minutes into the period, and for the second time in the evening, the Nailers would pull within a goal of Kalamazoo courtesy of Winston Day Chief’s fourth of the season. In the midst of a late surge from the Nailers, Justin Taylor would notched his second of the night and 12th of the year pushing the lead back to three. To put the nail in the coffin, Alex Mikulovich added an empty net tally with 2:27 to play in the third. Day Chief picked up his second of the night late for the Nailers to cut the lead to 6-4, but it was too little too late.
Kulbakov recorded his first win as a K-Wing stopping 47 of 51 shots in the victory. Kalamazoo finished the night scoreless on four power plays but held Wheeling scoreless on five chances. Danny Tirone, who relieved Matt O’Connor after the first, stopped 14 of 16 taking the loss for the Nailers.
Kalamazoo is back in action this Friday and Saturday taking on the Reading Royals and Nailers once again.
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.