KALAMAZOO, MI.- A pair of power play goals helped the K-Wings skate past the Fort Wayne Komets 5-3 on Friday night in Fort Wayne.
Kalamazoo (14-12-0-1) now holds sole possession of fourth place in the Central Division.
Justin Taylor netted his league leading 20th goal late in regulation. Reid Gardiner pushed his point-streak to seven games. Wade Murphy (2a) and Gardiner (2a) each recorded multi-point games in the victory.
After a scoreless first period, the Komets power play opened the scoring 8:16 into the second period. Mason Baptista tipped a point shot in front of Jake Hildebrand and deflected it through the five-hole giving the Komets the 1-0 lead. Kalamazoo answered back six minutes later. Pushing the pace into the Komets zone, Wade Murphy fed a pass to Colin Jacobs in the high slot. Jacobs tucked a shot inside the left post as the K-Wings knotted the game at 1-1 with just under 6:00 to play in the period. With the first two goals of the night scored, the teams each found the net at least once more. Brady Shaw took a shot from the high slot that beat Hildebrand to the blocker side, putting the Komets up by a single goal once again. Trailing by one late in the period the K-Wings scored twice in the final 1:07 to take their first lead of the night. As time wound down Wade Murphy picked up his second assist of the night, feeding Luke Sandler who was crashing the net. Sandler tipped the puck past Fucale for his first goal of the season, tying the game with 1:07 to play. In the final moments of the period the Komets were whistled for interference, sending out the K-Wing power play. Zach Saar just threw the puck towards the net in the final moments, sneaking the puck between the toe of Fucale and the post, putting the K-Wings up 3-2 with 0.9 seconds to play in the period.
Kalamazoo pushed the lead to two goals early in the third. Just under four minutes into the third the K-Wing power play led the charge again. Tanner Sorenson collected a rebound of a wide shot and tapped it into the net, putting the K-Wings up 4-2. A little bit later the Komets cut the lead back to one goal with a penalty shot goal from Jamie Schaafsma. With the Komets pressing late, Justin Taylor netted his 20th goal of the season, an empty netter to ice the game for the K-Wings.
Jake Hildebrand, claiming his seventh win of the season, stopped 26 of 29 shots for the K-Wings while Zach Fucale stopped 21 of 25. Kalamazoo finished the night two-for-five on the man-advantage.
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.