Kalamazoo, MI – Four straight goals, including three in the third period helped the K-Wings claim their fourth straight victory on Saturday night as they topped the Fuel 6-4.
Justin Taylor scored an empty net goal to give the forward a goal in each of his last four games. Reid Gardiner’s second period goal gives the forward four points (3g, 1a) since being reassigned to the K-Wings from Utica. Kyle Bushee (1g, 1a), Tanner Sorenson (2a) and Chris Collins (2a) all recorded multi-point games in the victory.
The K-Wings opened the scoring midway through the first period courtesy of Kyle Bushee. With traffic in front of the net, Bushee sent a shot towards the front of the cage the deflected off the defenseman and past Kevin Lankinen, putting the K-Wings up 1-0. Late in the opening frame Indy knotted the game up thanks to the efforts of Matthew Thompson. The Fuel rookie’s third goal of the season tied the game as the first period ended.
In the middle frame the Fuel scored back-to-back goals, taking a 3-1 lead midway through the period. Shortly after the third Fuel goal, Reid Gardiner got the K-Wings back on the board and within one. Spinning around in front of the net, Gardiner found a loose puck and shuffled it past the goaltender for his fifth goal of the season.
Trailing by one at the start of the final period the K-Wing offense didn’t take long to get in gear. Brendan Bradley entered the zone on a two-on-one, cut towards the middle of the ice and picked his corner, tying the game at 3-3 just 1:36 into the third. Just over two minutes later the K-Wings power play would strike to retake the lead. On the doorstep Zach Saar hammered home a rebound, getting the Kalamazoo power play on the board for the third straight game, and getting the K-Wings the 4-3 lead. Late in the period Justin Taylor would add an empty net tally to push the score to 5-3.
Kalamazoo skated away with their fourth straight victory as the final horn sounded. Ivan Kulbakov, winning his third straight start, stopped 24 of 27 shots for the K-Wings. Kevin Lankinen stopped 33 of 37 shots in a losing cause. Kalamazoo finished the night 1-for-5 on the man-advantage, while the Fuel were scoreless on two chances.
Kalamazoo (8-10-0-1) now sits three points behind the Fuel for fourth place in the Central Division.
The K-Wings are back in action tomorrow night as they host the Tulsa Oilers on Teddy Toss Night.
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.