FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2023
K-WINGS HANDLE KOMETS IN FINAL MINUTES AT HOME
Kalamazoo scores twice in the final five minutes to earn the victory with a stout defensive performance as Vorva and Bradford shine.
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Wings (16-16-3-0), proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, out gritted, out battled and outscored the Fort Wayne Komets (15-13-4-2) with a pair of goals in the final five minutes of Friday night’s contest at Wings Event Center, winning by a score of 3-1.
The ice seemed tilted to the East for this game, as every goal scored crossed the line on that end of the rink at Wings Event Center. First, the K-Wings took a 1-0 lead behind an 11-6 shot advantage in the opening frame, then the Komets won the shot total 22-12 in the second to tie the game at one, but Kalamazoo surged with a 15-6 shot advantage in the third and scored two late goals for the win.
Erik Bradford (1) netted the game-winning goal at the 15:27 mark of the third period for the K-Wings on the power play in just his first game back from Cleveland (AHL). Justin Murray (11) held the puck in the offensive zone at the blue line and fed it to Bradford on the left boards, where he skated into the left circle and rifled in a shot as Justin Taylor set the screen.
Taylor (6) then proceeded to score a shorthanded insurance goal at the 18:59 mark, as Fort Wayne skated six-on-four with the net empty after drawing a late call. Murray (12) assisted once again as Taylor backhanded it from 8 feet inside the K-Wings blue line, close to the K-Wings bench, into the open net.
With the goal, Taylor (473) now sits one point away from Kevin Schamehorn (474) atop the K-Wings’ all-time points leaderboard.
Kalamazoo opened the scoring at the 15:12 mark of the first as Carson Focht (4) tipped in a blue line blast from Ryan Cook (6). Logan Lambdin (4) set up Cook’s laser, and Focht made it 10 points in his last 11 games with the goal.
Fort Wayne scored at the 6:49 mark of a sloppy second period that featured 49 total penalty minutes, tying the game at one, but Hunter Vorva (8-3-1-0) slammed the door shut the rest of the way out. Vorva finished with 33 saves on 34 shots, earned the game’s No. 1 star and now has points in nine of his last 11 starts (8-2-1-0).
The K-Wings turn around to host the Wheeling Nailers (17-16-3-0) Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at Wings Event Center. It’s also ‘Jurassic Night’ with Kalamazoo wearing specialty Jurassic-themed jerseys that will be auctioned off for charity after the game. Get your tickets HERE, and make sure to get to the arena early because the first 1,000 fans will receive a free K-Wings Jurassic T-shirt!
Sunday, Jan. 22, is our ‘Coats for Floats’ game at Wings Event Center as the K-Wings host the Cincinnati Cyclones at 3:00 p.m. EST. Join us, as the K-Wing host a coat drive for those in need of warmth this winter. Any fan that donates a new or lightly used coat receives a free K-Wings mug and a voucher for a free ice cream float! There is no limit on the number of coats you can bring to donate, but ice cream float vouchers are only valid for only for Sunday’s game. Also, immediately after the game fans are invited to skate the ice with K-Wings players. Bring your own skates or rent a pair for just $3.
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.