Kalamazoo, MI.- Chris Collins netted his first professional hat trick but a wild second period saw the Komets top Kalamazoo 7-5 on Friday night.
Collins netted the fourth hat trick of the season for the K-Wings, joining Reid Gardiner and Tanner Sorenson with hat tricks. Tanner Sorenson added another multi-point night, netting a goal and assist.
Fort Wayne struck first in the opening period as Trey Phillips ripped a shot from the point past Jake Hildebrand to put the Komets up 1-0 at the 5:43 mark of the first period. Not much over a minute later Tanner Sorenson tied the game up. Michael Neal connected with Sorenson back door, as the forward tapped the puck past Fucale into the cage, knotting the game at 1-1. Eight minutes later the K-Wings took the lead for the first time. Chris Collins sprinted down the right wing, backing his way towards the goal line before spinning towards the net, sending a shot through the five-hole of Fucale. Kalamazoo took the 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
In the second period the teams exploded for a combined eight goals. Fort Wayne took less than two minutes to knot the game up at 2-2. With a tie game Chris Collins answered back for the K-Wings with his second of the night coming at even strength, giving the K-Wings a short lived lead. Less than a minute after Collins tally the Komets answered once again to tie the game at 3-3. As was the trend in the period, the lead didn’t last for long. Kyle Bushee found space in the high slot, slipping the puck past Fucale to give the K-Wings the lead. Down 4-3 Fort Wayne notched a pair of goals from Campagna and Lowney to take a 5-4 lead with just over six minutes left in the period. Heading into the final minute of the period the lead seemed intact. Chris Collins, looking to cap off a hat trick, did just that as he notched a power play goal with 0:59 left in the second to bring things back tied up, this time at 5-5. As soon as the puck was dropped though the Komets retook the lead as Shawn Szydlowski snaked in his second goal of the night. Fort Wayne led 6-5 after two periods of play after the teams combined for eight goals on 20 shots in the middle frame.
In the third period Fort Wayne would score the only tally as JC Campagna netted a power play goal in the final three minutes of play to cap off the scoring, giving the Komets the 7-5 victory.
Jake Hildebrand saw his 11-game scoring streak snapped, stopping 21 of 28 shots in the defeat. Zach Fucale stopped 20 of 25 shots in the victory for the Komets.
Kalamazoo continues a three-in-three weekend tomorrow evening in Indy taking on the Fuel, before returning home on Sunday afternoon to face off with the Cincinnati Cyclones.
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.