Toledo, OH.- Luke Sandler scored twice for Kalamazoo but a third period rally came up just short as the K-Wings fell 4-3 on Friday night.
Luke Sandler netted his first ECHL multi-goal game, scoring his eighth and ninth goals of the season in the defeat. Kalamazoo scored a power play goal for the tenth straight game. The K-Wings (31-26-2-2) remains in fourth place in the Central Division, two points ahead of fifth place Wheeling, and one point behind third place Fort Wayne.
The Walleye jumped out to an early lead, scoring just 0:50 into the opening frame to take the 1-0 lead. Bryan Moore capitalized on early pressure in front of the net to get the visitors on the board. Four minutes later the K-Wing power play struck for the tenth straight game to tie the game. Luke Sandler collected a rebound on the right side of the net, wristing a shot past Pat Nagle at the 4:46 mark to tie the game at 1-1. Playing four-on-four the Walleye struck to retake the lead. Chris Crane tipped a Matt Register right in front of the net, placing it past Kulbakov for the 2-1 lead.
In the middle frame the Walleye extended the lead to two goals scoring 4:15 into the period. Brenden Kotyk’s sixth goal of the season from the point gave Toledo the 3-1 lead. Trailing by two late in the period Luke Sandler netted his second goal of the night. Tipping a puck in front of the cage past Nagle, Sandler notched his first multi-goal game of his ECHL career. Just 0:21 seconds later though the Walleye extended the lead back to two-goals. Hunter Smith wrapped the puck around to the far post just sneaking the puck past Kulbakov with 2.5 seconds left to give the Walleye the 4-2 lead after the second.
In the third period Zach Diamantoni netted the only goal of the period collecting a rebound in the high slot and sending it past Nagle, to bring Kalamazoo within one at 9:00 of the third. Kalamazoo wouldn’t get on the board again however as the Walleye closed out the 4-3 victory.
Ivan Kulbakov finished the night with 32 saves on 36 shots, while Pat Nagle stopped 18 of 21. Kalamazoo finished the night one-for-four on the man-advantage.
The K-Wings are back in action tomorrow night in Cincinnati continuing a three-in-three weekend against the Cyclones.
Kalamazoo Wings full season tickets are available now for the 2019-20 season! 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.