Kalamazoo, MI.- Reid Gardiner was the hero against his former squad on Friday night as the K-Wings (11-11-0-1) topped the Nailers 4-3 in OT at Wings Event Center.
Forward Tyler Biggs scored twice for the K-Wings, while Justin Taylor (3a), Brandon Anselmini (1g, 1a) and Kyle Blaney (2a) also recorded multi-point nights.
The K-Wings sprinted out to a fast start in the opening frame, scoring twice in the first 5:11 to take an early 2-0 lead. It didn’t take Kalamazoo long to break the ice as Kyle Blaney connected with Tyler Biggs who laced a puck into the top corner, sending the first shot of the game past Jordan Ruby only 0:20 in to give the K-Wings a 1-0 lead. Five minutes later the lead doubled. Brandon Anselmini followed his own rebound and poked the puck past Ruby as he was falling down. Three minutes later the Nailers got on the board, as Kevin Spinozzi snapped a shot through traffic past Jake Hildebrand.
Wheeling scored short-handed tie the game up just about midway through the middle frame. Cedric Lacroix’s shot richoted off the post and hit the back of Jake Hildebrand bounced into the net tying the game at 2-2. Tyler Biggs put the K-Wings back in front late in the second with his second of the night. Left all alone again, Biggs one-timed a shot past Ruby, to put Kalamazoo up 3-2.
In the third Wheeling set the stage for overtime as Michael Phillips tied the game with just over 6:30 to play in regulation. The teams remained tied as regulation ended and headed for the overtime period. In the extra frame former Nailer Reid Gardiner sent the visitors packing with his seventh goal of the season. Gardiner took a pass in front from Tanner Sorenson and tapped it home giving the K-Wings the 4-3 victory. The victory was the third straight over the Nailers, and the K-Wings seventh in the last eight games.
Jake Hildebrand finished the night making 34 saves on 37 shots in the victory, while Jordan Ruby stopped 24 of 27 shots in the loss. Both teams were unsuccessful on the man-advantage finishing a combined 0-for-11.