FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2023
K-WINGS ELECTRIFY ON TAYLOR’S LATE HISTORIC GOAL, DOWN NAILERS IN OT
Kalamazoo out grits Wheeling, ties the game in the final minute of regulation, wins it in the first minute of overtime.
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Wings (17-16-3-0), proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, scratched their way to another hard-fought victory versus the Wheeling Nailers (17-16-4-0) in overtime on Saturday night at Wings Event Center, winning 3-2.
The K-Wings trailed 2-1 into the final seconds until Justin Taylor (7) tipped in a one-time blast from Chad Nychuk (17) with just 32 seconds left in regulation. Erik Bradford (4) notched the secondary assist on the game-tying goal with the extra attacker on for Kalamazoo.
The goal goes in the books as point No. 474 for Taylor in a K-Wings uniform, tying the late Kevin Schamehorn (474) for No. 1 for career points in franchise history.
Then in overtime, Carson Focht (5) scored at the 0:57 mark off of a Nailers turnover in the defensive zone. Focht scooped up the puck in the right circle and skated to the goalmouth, where he wrapped a shot around the right leg of sprawled-out Wheeling netminder Bailey Brkin (4-3-2-0) for the backhand to forehand game-winner.
Kalamazoo got on the board first at the 6:42 mark of the first period, as Ryan Cook (1) scored his first goal of the season. Cook took the feed from Brandon Saigeon (21) near the blue line on the right side, skated down to the right circle and rifled a shot into the far side of the net. Bradford (3) earned the secondary assist on the opening goal.
The Nailers tied the game with a power play goal at the 10:11 mark of the second period and scored again at the 2:18 mark of the third to take the lead.
Kalamazoo appeared to tie the game at the 8:03 mark of the third on the power play, but the goal was waived off due to contact with Brkin in the crease.
Pavel Cajan (4-0-0-0) maintained his perfect record in the ECHL by stopping 29 of the 31 shots he faced. Cajan’s electric performance in net kept Kalamazoo in the game throughout the contest.
The K-Wings close out the three-game weekend with another home matchup on Sunday against the Cincinnati Cyclones (20-8-4-2). Puck drop is set for 3:00 p.m. EST.
The K-Wings are continuing the ‘Hockey is for Everyone’ campaign on Feb. 4 vs Fort Wayne. Join us at 7:00 p.m. and support ‘Hockey is for Her’ and our commitment to help the girls and women of Kalamazoo get involved with hockey. Buy your tickets HERE, and get to Wings Event Center early, as the first 1,000 fans will receive a specialty K-Wings puck.
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.