Kalamazoo (30-24-2-2) vs Indy (27-28-2-1)
Listen: 1660 the Fan
Last Time Out:
The K-Wings notched a pair of goals in the second period to tie the game heading into the third, but it was the Komets who notched the overtime marker, taking the extra point and the 3-2 victory on Friday. Fort Wayne took the 1-0 lead late in the first period as Kyle Hope's shot deflected past Ivan Kulbakov. Hope's first professional goal but the Komets up 1-0 after the first twenty minutes. The second period saw a flurry of power play goals as Kalamazoo sandwiched a pair of man-up tallies around a Komets goal. Kyle Bushee netted his eigth goal of the season just under three minutes into the frame to tie the game at 1-1. After a JC Campagna goal late in the period the K-Wings answered as Luke Sandler tipped a shot in front of the net past Zach Fucale, tying the game once again. Tied at 2-2 through the final period of regulation the teams headed into the extra period. Fort Wayne capitalized on a chance just under two minutes in as Phelix Martineau scored his ninth of the season, to take the extra point. Ivan Kulbakov stopped 30 of 33 shots in the defeat while Zach Fucale stopped 37 of 39 shots for the Komets.
Peppering the Net:
Kalamazoo put 23 shots on net during the second period on Friday night, setting a new season high for shot in a period. Previously the K-Wings had a season high of 21 shots in a period, also set against the Komets. Second periods this season have been the most effective as far as shooting the puck. Through the first 58 games the K-Wings have put the puck on net 644 times, averaging 11.1 shots per game in the middle frame. In reference the K-Wings are averaging 10.1 shots in the first period and 9.3 shots per game in the third.
Firing on the Power Play, Pt. 2:
Two power play goals in the second period last night gave the K-Wings a man-up tally in the seventh straight game, and the 11th time in the last 12 games. After going two-for-four last night the K-Wing power play moved into third place in the ECHL, having converted on 21.3%. During their recent 12-game stretch Kalamazoo is converting on 28.33% of chances (17/60). Friday's game also marked the 17th time this season the K-Wings have scored more than one power play goals in a game.
Saturday night marks the 11th of 12 meetings between the K-Wings and Fuel this season. Indy has won six of the first ten meetings, however the home team has taken seven of the first ten meetings between the teams. The K-Wings have won three of the first five matchups at Wings Event Center. Ryan Rupert leads all skaters in the season series with 15 points, while teammate Josh Shalla is right behind him with 13 points. Tanner Sorenson leads the K-Wings with 11 points. Zach Saar however leads Kalamazoo with five goals through nine games against the Fuel.
Central Division Check-In:
Following last night's overtime defeat at the hands of the Komets the K-Wings fell to fourth place in the Central Division, only trailing Fort Wayne by a single point. The Komets have a single game in hand on Kalamazoo. Following the K-Wings is the Nailers in fifth plave, three points behind Kalamazoo, while the Fuel sit in sixth place with 57 points. Toledo is ten points up on Kalamazoo, while the Cyclones have already clinched a playoff spot with 89 points.
Wizards, Wands and Wings:
Saturday night Wings Event Center will turn into the Wizarding World of Kalamazoo for Wizards, Wands and Wings Night. The team will be wearing special wizarding jerseys that will be auctioned off following the game in a live auction. In addition the first 1,000 fans through the doors will get special Slappy Wands to help celebrate the night.