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K-WINGS STRIKE EARLY AND OFTEN, DOWN KOMETS ON ROAD

Thursday, January 12th
K-WINGS STRIKE EARLY AND OFTEN, DOWN KOMETS ON ROAD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 11, 2023

K-WINGS STRIKE EARLY AND OFTEN, DOWN KOMETS ON ROAD

Kalamazoo scores within the first two minutes of each period, holds off a late surge by Fort Wayne and wins 5-4 Wednesday.

BOX SCORE

FORT WAYNE, IN – The Kalamazoo Wings (14-14-3-0), proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, got out to a 4-0 lead and held off a late charge from the Fort Wayne Komets (13-12-3-2) on Wednesday to win, 5-4, at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

Kalamazoo scored in the first two minutes of each period for the first time since Feb. 14, 2019, and had five different players with multiple points en route to its second-straight road victory.

Matheson Iacopelli (7) kicked things off for the K-Wings with his goal at the 1:16 mark of the first period. Darby Llewellyn (4) sent the primary assist across from the left faceoff circle to Iacopelli who then rifled in the shot. Carson Focht (9) notched the secondary assist on the goal.

Less than three minutes later, Collin Saccoman (2) scored at the 4:09 mark to make it 2-0. On the play, Brennan Blaszczak (1) worked the puck to Max Humitz (11) in the slot, who found Saccoman open at the top of the right circle for a one-time blast into the back of the net.

Kalamazoo then got into some penalty trouble, having to kill off four consecutive penalties throughout the rest of the first, including a pair of 5-on-3 opportunities for Fort Wayne. But the penalty kill unit stood tall, finishing the game 6/6, and has now killed off 17 consecutive penalties dating back to Dec. 31.

Between the shorthanded stints, Blaszczak (2) scored at the 15:58 mark. Tyler Rockwell (3) sent the puck from behind the cage to Focht (10) at the bottom of the right circle, who sent a beautiful feed to Blaszczak crashing and laying out to reach the pass from the left side of the crease and send it into the net.

At the 1:32 mark of the second period, Anthony Collins (3) scored on a third-chance opportunity to make it 4-0. Brandon Saigeon (18) took the initial shot, Llewellyn (5) came up empty on the rebound and Collins cleaned up the trash for the K-Wings' fourth goal of the contest.

Midway through the second, the Komets swung the momentum and scored at the 11:39 and 14:05 marks to trim the deficit to two goals heading into the third period. But two penalties at the end of the frame on Fort Wayne meant a two-man advantage for Kalamazoo to start the third.

Unable to convert on the 5-on-3, Kalamazoo kept the pressure on and Saigeon (5) scored at the 1:24 mark. Iacopelli (4) carried the puck down low and found Saigeon with a centering pass, who then carried the puck through the slot to the left circle and sent a snipe just inside the right post. Olivier LeBlanc (4) earned the secondary assist in his first game back with the K-Wings after a stint with Cleveland (AHL).

Fort Wayne never quit, though, scoring at the 6:14 and 12:21 marks to make it 5-4. And that’s when Hunter Vorva (6-2-1-0) made several clutch stops late, including an incredible save in the final seconds, to seal the win. Vorva finished with 29 saves on 33 shots faced.

The K-Wings' next game is versus the Toledo Walleye (15-13-4-1) on Friday at 7:00 p.m. at Wings Event Center. The game is Kalamazoo’s ‘Rainbow Ice / Pride Night,’ presented by Bronson. It’s also a $3 Friday, presented by Bud Light, with $3 beers, sodas and hot dogs. Tickets are going fast, so buy yours HERE before they’re all gone for this historic game.

Make sure to secure your Hungry Howie’s Friends & Family ticket pack for the K-Wings’ upcoming ‘Rainbow Ice’ game on Friday, January 13. The pack includes 4 Tickets, 4 K-Wings Hats and a FREE $20 HH voucher. Get your HH Ticket Pack HERE.

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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.

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