FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 7, 2022
K-WINGS POUR IT ON WALLEYE BEHIND McCARTY HAT TRICK
Kalamazoo ties a season-high with six goals scored, dominates Toledo to finish road trip.
TOLEDO, OH – The Kalamazoo Wings (9-8-1-0), proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, scored early and often to beat the Toledo Walleye (7-10-0-1) by a score of 6-1 on Wednesday at Huntington Center.
The offensive outburst was led by Mason McCarty (7, 8, 9) earning the K-Wings’ first hat trick of the season. With the hatty, McCarty moves into a tie for No. 4 in ECHL rookie goals.
Justin Taylor (4) got the scoring started, depositing a puck into a wide-open net at the 16:06 mark of the first period. On the goal, Daniel D’Amico (2) earned the puck behind the net after Toledo goalie Sebastian Cossa couldn’t decide if he wanted to play the puck after settling it behind the net. D’Amico then sent it straight to Taylor crashing the crease, and he finished off the easy goal.
Just 59 seconds later, at the 17:05 mark, Darby Llewellyn (3) camped out on the right side of the crease and Marc Gatcomb (1) found him for the game-winning goal. It was Gatcomb’s first professional point in his first game with Kalamazoo after 15 appearances for Abbotsford (AHL) between the last two seasons. Chad Nychuk (8) had the second assist on the goal.
Toledo drew to within one goal early in the second period, but the K-Wings scored four unanswered to slam the door shut on the hockey game.
First, McCarty scored his first goal of the game at the 7:50 mark of the second with a snipe from the top of the right circle. Tyler Rockwell (1) earned his first assist of the season, while Quinn Schmiemann (1) joined Gatcomb in picking up his first pro point in his K-Wings debut.
Then, at the 17:23 mark, it was Max Humitz (5) scoring off of his own rebound opportunity to make it 4-1 Kalamazoo. Humitz grabbed the puck just past the blue line, brought it to the right faceoff circle for his first shot, then finished it off as the rebound came straight to his stick on the right side. Llewellyn (2) and Gatcomb (2) earned the assists on the goal.
It took just 39 seconds for McCarty to find the net again after the Humitz goal. Coale Norris (3) sent the puck to McCarty on the left side of the crease after the initial shot by Brandon Saigeon (9), and the rookie tucked it just inside the left post.
At the 5:18 mark of the third, just 10 seconds into a power play, McCarty earned the hat trick as he went backhand to forehand in the crease to find the back of the net. Nychuk (9) and Justin Murray (8) assisted on the K-Wings’ sixth and final goal in the game.
In his first game back with Kalamazoo after a stint with Cleveland (AHL), Pavel Cajan (2-0-0-0) was brilliant in net once again, stopping 35 of 36 shots by the Walleye. In his two games, both against Toledo, Cajan now owns a 1.00 goals-against average to go along with a .970 save percentage.
Up next, the K-Wings and Walleye run it back for the back end of the home and home on Friday at 7:00 p.m. EST at Wings Event Center.
It’s also Teddy Bear Toss Night, presented by Bronson on Friday. Make sure to bring your teddies to launch on the ice after the K-Wings' first goal, and stick around for $3 Friday, presented by Bud Light. Get your tickets HERE.
The K-Wings host ‘Marvel Night’ on Saturday, December 10 versus Wheeling at 7:00 p.m. EST at Wings Event Center. The K-Wings will wear Thor specialty Marvel-themed jerseys, and stick around after the game for a chance to take one home in the jersey auction. Kalamazoo will also have a Norse God in attendance. Check out the Thor Ticket Package and personally meet the Avenger with tons of perks for the game. In addition, the first 1,000 fans will receive a Marvel lunchbox!
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 Columbus Blue Jackets and the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters. Kalamazoo plays their 36 regular season home games at Wings Event Center from October through April.