FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2020
SANDLER NETS HAT TRICK, BUT SECOND PERIOD DOOMS WINGS
K-Wings third period rally falls short after Brampton scores five in the middle frame Saturday at Wings Event Center.
KALAMAZOO, MI – A near-miraculous third period comeback fell short Saturday as the Kalamazoo Wings (19-23-6-1) rallied from a 6-2 deficit to within a goal, ultimately falling 8-5 to the Brampton Beast (28-20-3-0) at Wings Event Center.
The K-Wings, who allowed five goals in a rocky second period, battled back with three third period goals to pull within one with 8:52 left in regulation, thanks in part to the first career hat trick from Luke Sandler.
Sandler opened the scoring with 5:37 left in the opening frame, but watched from the penalty box as the Beast tied it at 1-1 one minute later on a one-timer from Lindsay Sparks between the circles, as the teams skated even heading into the first intermission.
Brampton exploded for five goals in the middle stanza, after Brenden Miller and Erik Bradford each scored in the first 1:26 to give the Beast a 3-1 lead. A bad giveaway from behind the Kalamazoo net set up Nathan Todd for a power play goal to make it 4-1, and Daniel Leavens opened the game up to 5-1 on a 2-on-1 rush with 7:24 left in the frame.
Kalamazoo pulled starter Jake Hildebrand at that point, replacing him with Jake Kielly, who allowed one goal on 13 shots the rest of the way. Sandler buried a loose puck in the crease for his second of the game shortly after the goaltender change to bring the score to 5-2, but Jordan Henry answered 1:03 later, giving the Beast a 6-2 cushion after 50 minutes.
Zach Frye started the K-Wings comeback 2:30 into the third when he tapped home a rebound after Alex Dubeau stopped Garret Ross on a breakaway. Sandler beat Dubeau behind the Brampton net on a dump-in and tucked the puck into the net on a wraparound to complete his hat trick, making it 6-4 with 10:15 remaining. Then Tanner Sorenson ripped a shot from the left circle over Dubeau’s blocker to bring Kalamazoo back to within one. The Beast stomped out the K-Wings hopes late with two empty net goals from Perry D’Arrisso and Bradford.
The K-Wings and Beast meet again Monday afternoon at the CAA Centre in Brampton, Ontario at 2:00 p.m. Catch the action on 1660 AM or ECHL TV, with pregame coverage starting at 1:40 p.m.
The Kalamazoo Wings are a professional hockey team located in southwest Michigan that has been a staple in the Kalamazoo, MI professional sports landscape since 1974. The K-Wings compete in the ECHL and are the AA affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks. Kalamazoo plays their 36 regular season home games at Wings Event Center from October through April.