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K-WINGS WEEKLY: K-WINGS TAKE TWO, SELLOUT RAINBOW ICE AND HOME FOR THREE THIS WEEK

Monday, January 16th
K-WINGS WEEKLY: K-WINGS TAKE TWO, SELLOUT RAINBOW ICE AND HOME FOR THREE THIS WEEK

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

January 16, 2023

K-WINGS TAKE TWO, SELLOUT RAINBOW ICE AND HOME FOR THREE THIS WEEK

 Kalamazoo starts and finishes the week strong, looking to surge through the Central Division standings this week.

OVERALL RECORD:  15-16-3-0

LAST WEEK:  2-2-0-0

KALAMAZOO, MI - The Kalamazoo Wings, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, play three games this week, all at Wings Event Center. First, The K-Wings welcome the Fort Wayne Komets on Friday. Then, Kalamazoo hosts Wheeling on Saturday before rounding out the weekend versus the Cincinnati Cyclones Sunday.

Last week, the K-Wings went 2-2-0-0 (5-4, 2-4, 2-3, 3-2 OT).

The K-Wings started the week with hot sticks, as they surged out to a 4-0 lead in Fort Wayne on Wednesday. Fort Wayne battled back into the game, but Brandon Saigeon scored the game-winning goal on the power play at the beginning of the third.

Then on Friday, the K-Wings battled it out with the Toledo Walleye in front of a sellout crowd on Rainbow Ice / Pride Night, presented by Bronson, at Wings event center. The game surged into the final five minutes tied at one, but Toledo was able to find the go-ahead goal at the 15:21 mark. Toledo then scored an empty net goal, but Matheson Iacopelli answered with the extra-attacker and made it a one-goal contest at the 18:42 mark. Unfortunately, Toledo was able to seal it with another empty-net goal in the final seconds.

On Saturday, Kalamazoo gave the first-place Indy Fuel all they could handle for most of the first two frames, opening the scoring up at the thirty-six second mark of the first and taking two leads in the game. Yet, Indy was able to score two equalizers and a game-winning short-handed goal to sneak away with the home victory.

The K-Wings immediately hit the road to Wheeling for a matinee matchup with the Nailers on Sunday. Both teams played through fatigue after the long week, and the K-Wings got out to a 2-0 lead with two goals early in the third period. Wheeling fought back and scored a pair to tie it and force overtime. Kalamazoo then sent Wheeling to the locker room just thirty-six-seconds into the OT frame, as K-Wings All-Star defenseman Chad Nychuk scored on a nasty wrist shot.

Tonight, defenseman Chad Nychuk represents Kalamazoo in the 2023 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic, presented by Optima Health and Sentara in Norfolk, VA at 7:05 p.m. Catch the game live on NHL Network.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN DETAIL

The K-Wings play three games this week, all three taking place at Wings Event Center on consecutive days.

First, on Friday, Jan. 20, the K-Wings host the Fort Wayne Komets for ‘80s Alumni Night at 7:00 p.m. EST at Wings Event Center. It will also be a $3 Friday, presented by Bud Light, so enjoy $3 beers, sodas and hot dogs while Kalamazoo squares off with a division rival. K-Wings players from the franchise’s first full decade of play and will be signing autographs during intermission.

Then, it’s ‘Jurassic Night’ on Saturday, Jan. 21 as the K-Wings host the Wheeling Nailers at 7:00 p.m. EST at Wings Event Center. Make sure to get to the arena early, because the first 1,000 fans will receive a K-Wings Jurassic T-Shirt! Make sure to stick around after the game for the specialty jersey auction. 

Finally, on Sunday, Jan. 22, it’s the ‘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 amount of coats you can bring to donate, and ice cream float voucher are valid for Sunday’s game only. 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.

RESULTS

Wednesday, Jan. 11 – Kalamazoo 5, Fort Wayne 4 (Allen County War Memorial Coliseum - Fort Wayne, IN) | Box Score

>>  The Kalamazoo Wings (14-14-3-0) 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. Matheson Iacopelli (7) kicked things off for the K-Wings with his goal at the 1:16 mark of the first period. Less than three minutes later, Collin Saccoman (2) scored at the 4:09 mark to make it 2-0. 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. Between the shorthanded stints, Brennan Blaszczak (2) scored at the 15:58 mark. At the 1:32 mark of the second period, Anthony Collins (3) scored on a third-chance opportunity to make it 4-0. 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. Unable to convert on a 5-on-3 to start the third, Kalamazoo kept the pressure on and Brandon Saigeon (5) scored on the power play at the 1:24 mark. 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.

Friday, Jan. 13 – Toledo 4, Kalamazoo 2 (Wings Event Center - Kalamazoo, MI) | Box Score

>>  The Kalamazoo Wings (14-15-3-0) 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. 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. Matheson 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. 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.

Saturday, Jan. 14 – Kalamazoo 2, Indy 3 (Indiana Farmers Coliseum - Indianapolis, IN) | Box Score

>>   The Kalamazoo Wings (14-16-3-0) got off to a quick start, but the Indy Fuel (24-10-1-0) capitalized on opportunities at the end of the second period and won at Indiana Farmers Coliseum Saturday, 3-2. The K-Wings’ penalty kill unit was exceptional once again, going a perfect 5/5 to finish without allowing a power play goal for the sixth time in their last eight games (31/33, 93.9%). Unfortunately, the Fuel’s penalty kill produced a short-handed game-winning goal at the 19:54 mark of the second period. Max Humitz (10) got out to a quick start with a goal at the 0:36 mark of the first period, the K-Wings' fastest tally to start a game, going forehand to backhand in the slot to grab the 1-0 lead. The Fuel then tied the game at the 7:00 mark. At the 4:36 mark of the second, Leif Mattson (2) scored his first goal as a K-Wing to regain the lead. Indy scored to tie the game, 2-2, at the 14:11 mark. Evan Cormier (5-12-2-0) was stout in net, stopping 31 of 34 shots by the Fuel including a penalty shot at the 18:47 mark of the second period. Two shifts later Indy found the game-winner.

Sunday, Jan. 14 – Kalamazoo 3, Wheeling 2 (OT) (Wesbanco Arena - Wheeling, WV) | Box Score

>>   The Kalamazoo Wings (14-16-3-0) 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. 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. 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. 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.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Friday, Jan. 20 Fort Wayne at Kalamazoo, 7:00 p.m. EST – Wings Event Center (Kalamazoo, MI)

Saturday, Jan. 21Wheeling at Kalamazoo, 7:00 p.m. EST – Wings Event Center (Kalamazoo, MI)

Sunday, Jan. 22 Cincinnati at Kalamazoo, 3:00 p.m. EST – Wings Event Center (Kalamazoo, MI)

ON THE MOVE

Jan. 13 - Forward Logan Lambdin was returned to Kalamazoo from loan by Chicago (AHL)

Jan. 13 - Forward Logan Nelson was released by Kalamazoo

Jan. 15 - Forward Logan Lambdin was loaned to Chicago (AHL) by Kalamazoo

FAST FACTS

·           Forward Justin Taylor recorded assist No. 250 of his ECHL career on Saturday at Indy. It was also assist No. 229 for Taylor in a K-Wings uniform, moving him past Mike Wanchuk (228) for sole-possession of No. 4 all-time.

·           Forward Brandon Saigeon is in the midst of a career-long six-game point streak (2G, 5A) after scoring in all four games this week, and forward Matheson Iacopelli recorded three multi-point games this week (2G, 4A).

·           Kalamazoo scored in the first two minutes of each period in Wednesday’s 5-4 victory at Fort Wayne for the first time since Feb. 14, 2019.

TEAM TRENDS

·       9-0-0-0 when scoring 4+ goals

·       9-1-0-0 when leading after the 2nd Period   

·       11-0-0-0 when leading by 2+ goals at any point in the game

STATISTICAL LEADERS

POINTS:              26 – Brandon Saigeon

GOALS:               11 – Mason McCarty

ASSISTS:          20 – Brandon Saigeon

PLUS/MINUS:    +8 – Leif Mattson 

PIMS:                   62 – Justin Murray

PP GOALS:      4 – Matheson Iacopelli

PP ASSISTS:        7 –  Justin Murray, Chad Nychuk

SH GOALS:      2 – Raymond Brice

GW GOALS:    3 – Raymond Brice, Max Humitz

SHOTS:           90 – Max Humitz

WINS:                  7 – Hunter Vorva

GAA:                   2.42 – Hunter Vorva

SAVE %:             .924 – Hunter Vorva

* Currently with Cleveland (AHL)

** Currently with Columbus (NHL)

SPECIAL TEAMS

POWER PLAY:   Last Week – 1/17 (5.9%)

                           This Season – 22/119 (18.5%) – No. 20  in the ECHL                         

PENALTY KILL:   Last Week – 16/18 (88.9%)

                            This Season – 104/127 (81.9%) – No. 11 in the ECHL

  --

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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Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
'DUMB AND DUMBER' NIGHT | $3 FRIDAY
Friday, March 8th
'DUMB AND DUMBER' NIGHT | $3 FRIDAY
Puck Drops:
7:00 PM EST
Wings Event Center
Indy Fuel
IND Indy Fuel
at
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
Wings Event Center
'MASCOT MADNESS' GAME
Sunday, March 10th
'MASCOT MADNESS' GAME
Puck Drops:
3:00 PM EDT
Wings Event Center
Toledo Walleye
TOL Toledo Walleye
at
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
Wings Event Center
'GAME SHOW' NIGHT | $3 FRIDAY
Friday, March 15th
'GAME SHOW' NIGHT | $3 FRIDAY
Puck Drops:
7:00 PM EDT
Wings Event Center
Allen Americans
ALN Allen Americans
at
Kalamazoo Wings
KAL Kalamazoo Wings
Wings Event Center

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