FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2023
K-WINGS SELLOUT HISTORIC PRIDE NIGHT, WALLEYE ESCAPE ON TOP
Kalamazoo scores first, but Toledo comes on strong to gain the lead in the final minutes and holds on for the 4-2 victory.
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Wings (14-15-3-0), proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, skated to a 1-1 tie until the 15:23 mark of the third versus Toledo (16-13-4-1), in front of a sellout home crowd of 5,053 for the ‘Rainbow Ice / Pride Night’ game, presented by Bronson, but the Walleye came out on top 4-2 at Wings Event Center Friday.
It was an amazing night of celebration for Kalamazoo’s second annual Rainbow Ice game - marking the second time the K-Wings have made professional hockey history with the painted ice surface - and the hometown was treated to a spectacular show - including several huge saves by Hunter Vorva (6-3-1-0).
The K-Wings started the scoring at the 10:52 mark of the first period as Carson Focht (3) fired a one-timer from the slot off of a great feed from Matheson Iacopelli (5) driving down the right side. Kalamazoo would carry the 1-0 advantage into the first intermission.
At the 2:08 mark of the second, the Walleye got on the board to tie the game, and the score stayed 1-1 until the final five minutes.
Kalamazoo appeared to take the lead on the power play at the 5:00 mark of the third, but the goal was disallowed after review.
Toledo scored again at the 15:23 mark to take the lead and made it 3-1 with an empty-net goal at the 18:10 mark. But Kalamazoo wasn’t done yet.
Iacopelli lit the lamp from the left faceoff dot with the extra attacker on the ice for the K-Wings with 1:18 left to play. Chad Nychuk (16) sent the puck from the blue line to Brandon Saigeon (19) in the right faceoff circle, and Saigeon sent a cross-circles pass to Iacopelli to pull back within one.
The Walleye then went on a power play with 30 seconds remaining, and the K-Wings again pulled the goalie to skate five-on-five, but Toledo scored at the 19:56 mark to seal the victory.
Vorva made 31 stops on 33 shots faced in the loss.
Kalamazoo immediately heads to Indy to take on the Fuel (23-10-1-0) on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. EST at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
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.