FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 15, 2023
K-WINGS OUT DUEL WHEELING, PICK UP ROAD OT WIN
Kalamazoo scores twice early in the third, wins it in overtime after Wheeling responds with two goals in the final 10 minutes.
WHEELING, WV – The Kalamazoo Wings (15-16-3-0), proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, weathered a late comeback by the Wheeling Nailers (17-16-3-0) to win in overtime, 3-2, on Sunday at Wesbanco Arena.
K-Wings All-Star Chad Nychuk (4) scored on a filthy wrister for the game-winner 33 seconds into the extra period. Matheson Iacopelli (7) and Justin Taylor (10) set up Nychuk to bring the puck all the way up the ice from the defensive zone, and he skated straight up center ice to the slot and rifled home the wrister to end it.
Both teams struggled to get going offensively as it was the third game in as many days for Kalamazoo and Wheeling. The teams skated to a scoreless tie into the third, with the peak of the game’s excitement coming from a fight between Olivier LeBlanc and Gianluca Esteves at the 11:29 mark of the first. The fight followed LeBlanc being called for elbowing Max Johnson, and Olivier was given a game misconduct for the hit and ejected from the game.
At the 3:25 mark of the third period, Brandon Saigeon (6) gathered a rebound from the initial shot by Max Humitz (12) and sent it into the top-right corner for the game’s first goal. The tally extends Saigeon’s current career-long point streak to six games.
Then just three minutes and thirty-one seconds later, it was Darby Llewellyn (5) tipping in a shot by Anthony Florentino (2) to make it 2-0 K-Wings. Iacopelli (6) left the puck for Florentino, who fired the shot from the left boards that knuckled its way into the net after Llewellyn’s deflection.
The Nailers responded with a goal at the 12:11 mark and another tally on the power play with 5:18 remaining, but that was all Hunter Vorva (7-3-1-0) would allow. After shutting out Wheeling a week ago, Vorva totaled just over 112 minutes of scoreless time against the Nailers and finished the game with 26 saves on 28 shots.
Kalamazoo follows the All-Star break with three games at home next weekend. First, it’s a matchup with the Fort Wayne Komets (15-12-3-2) on Friday at 7:00 p.m. EST.
The K-Wings next home game is at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 20 versus the Fort Wayne Komets at Wings Event Center. The team will be honoring their 80s Alumni. Head to the game to meet a couple of your favorite Wings from the decade and enjoy a $3 Friday ($3 beers, sodas and hot dogs). Get your tickets HERE.
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.