For Immediate Release
KALAMAZOO, MI- Kalamazoo scored late to come within one but the K-Wings didn’t have another third period come back in them Saturday night as they fell 5-4 to the Toledo Walleye.
Reid Gardiner scored in the third period to extend his point-streak to 11-games, setting a new career high. The forward has tallied 19 points (9g, 10a) during that 11-game stretch. Kalamazoo netted a power play tally for the second straight night.
Kalamazoo and Toledo both got on the board in the first period as the Central Division foes combined for five goals in the opening frame. Toledo opened the scoring 3:02 into the game as Connor Schmidt wristed a shot past Jake Hildebrand for the early lead. Less than a minute later the K-Wings got a goal from Wade Murphy to tie things up at 1-1. Tyler Biggs tapped a pass in front for Murphy who quickly pushed it past Pat Nagle for his sixth goal of the season. Ten minutes later the scoring continued. Daniel Leavens collected a loose puck at the net mouth and sent it past Jake Hildebrand to give Toledo the lead once again. Just as they did earlier in the period the K-Wings answered back to tie the game. Chris Collins collected a pass from Tanner Sorenson in front of the net and wristed it past Nagle, tying the game with 5:31 to play in the first. Taking a page from the K-Wings though the Walleye answered back. Shane Berschbach notched a power play goal capitalizing on quick puck movement late in the period to give the Walleye the 3-2 lead heading into the first intermission.
In the middle frame, Toledo got on the board to push the lead to 4-2 midway through the period. Schmidt netted his second goal of the season, and second of the night as the Walleye pushed the lead to two goals. Tyler Ganly got a goal back for the K-Wings bringing the home side within one goal once again. Ganly’s shot from the left point worked its way through traffic and into the back of the net for his second goal of the season.
In the third period the Walleye pushed the lead back to two goals as Gregg Wolfe pushed a loose puck between the legs of Jake Hildebrand, giving the Walleye a 5-3 lead. Reid Gardiner did his best to jump start the K-Wing offense. Gardiner unleashed a slap shot from the left side that beat Nagle to bring Kalamazoo within one. Gardiner’s 14th of the season extended his point streak to 11-games, but was the final goal of the night as the Walleye skated out with a 5-4 victory.
Jake Hildebrand stopped 26 of 31 shots in the loss, while Pat Nagle stopped 24 of 28 en route to the victory. Kalamazoo finished the night one-for-five on the man-advantage.
The K-Wings conclude December at 2018 on Monday afternoon for a New Year’s Eve matinee as they take on the Indy Fuel.
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.