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K-WINGS WEEKLY: K-WINGS NECK AND NECK, RAINBOW ICE LESS THAN TWO WEEKS OUT

Monday, January 2nd
K-WINGS WEEKLY: K-WINGS NECK AND NECK, RAINBOW ICE LESS THAN TWO WEEKS OUT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 2, 2022

K-WINGS NECK AND NECK HEADING INTO NEW YEAR, RAINBOW ICE LESS THAN TWO WEEKS OUT

 Kalamazoo heads to Toledo and Wheeling to start 2023, after over 86 hundred make it to WEC for last games of 2022.

OVERALL RECORD:  12-13-3-0

LAST WEEK:  0-2-1-0

KALAMAZOO, MI - The Kalamazoo Wings, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, play two road games this week. First, the K-Wings head to Toledo for a game against the Walleye on Friday. Then, Kalamazoo heads to Wheeling for a matchup with the Nailers on Sunday. 

Last week, the K-Wings went 0-2-1-0 (1-3, 3-4 OT, 1-2).

Kalamazoo put forth three consecutive strong efforts and picked up one point last week heading into 2023. Overall, the K-Wings power play was 40% on the week, and Kalamazoo trailed by more than one goal for less than a second in the three games combined. On Wednesday, the K-Wings carried a 1-0 lead into the 15-minute mark of the third period in Cincinnati, only to suffer a tough no-call on the game-tying goal, as the play appeared to be offsides, and a wild puck out of the corner on the game-winning goal in the final minutes. On Friday, the K-Wings marched back to take the lead in the second period versus Newfoundland via three power play goals, but the Growlers were able to escape in overtime with the victory. Then, in the New Year’s Eve game on Saturday, Kalamazoo tied the game at one in the third, was the aggressor for most of the contest, but fell behind with less than three minutes to go.

Kalamazoo is just over a week away from making history again, as the second edition of its rainbow-painted ice surface is on the horizon. The Hungry Howie’s Friends and Family Deal is back for the K-Wings ‘Rainbow Ice / Pride Night’ game on Friday, January 13 at 7 p.m. versus the Toledo Walleye at Wings Event Center. This deal has sold out for each of its first three appearances this season, so act now before it’s too late! 

UPCOMING EVENTS IN DETAIL

The K-Wings play two games this week, both on the road, with the second edition of the historic ‘Rainbow Ice / Pride Night’ game at Wings Event Center is on the horizon next week.

On Friday, Jan. 13 the K-Wings celebrate ‘Rainbow Ice / Pride Night’ versus the Toledo Walleye at 7:00 p.m. at Wings Event Center, presented by Bronson. Kalamazoo is proud to honor the LGBTQ+ community in support of the belief that everyone deserves equal opportunities regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or background. It’s also a $3 Friday, presented by Bud Light, so enjoy $3 beers, sodas and hot dogs while enjoying Kalamazoo’s only professional sports team. The specialty jerseys worn on this night will also be donned on ‘Hockey is for Her & Hockey is for Everyone Night’ on February 4 and will be auctioned off immediately following that game in February.

RESULTS

Wednesday, Dec. 30 – Kalamazoo 1, Cincinnati 3 (Heritage Bank Center - Cincinnati, OH) | Box Score

>>  The Kalamazoo Wings (12-12-2-0) held one of the ECHL’s best offenses off the board until the 14:08 mark of the third, but the Cincinnati Cyclones (16-4-3-2) surged late to win Wednesday at Heritage Bank Center, 3-1. Offense was hard to come by nearly the entire game, and the K-Wings got on the board first with Tyler Irvine (2) scoring at the 18:25 mark of the second period. On the play, Irvine posted up in front of the Cincinnati net and tipped the initial shot by Carson Focht (5) top-shelf to give Kalamazoo the 1-0 advantage. At the 14:08 mark of the third period, Cincinnati finally tied the game 1-1 on a deflected shot, and 1:24 later Cincinnati tied it on a hometown bounce with the net vacated. Evan Cormier (5-9-1-0) went to play the puck behind the net on a simple dump in, but the puck took an unfortunate bounce off the left corner boards straight to the goalmouth. An empty-net goal in the game’s final second capped off the scoring. Kalamazoo’s penalty kill went 3-3 on the evening, and Cormier made 30 saves on 32 shots faced to anchor the defensive performance.

Friday, Dec. 30 – Newfoundland 4, Kalamazoo 3 (OT) (Wings Event Center - Kalamazoo, MI) | Box Score

>>   The Kalamazoo Wings (12-12-3-0) surged on offense with three power play goals in the second period but the Newfoundland Growlers (19-8-1-0) prevailed in OT at Wings Event Center Friday, 4-3. Newfoundland got the scoring started and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, but was called for a minor penalty at the end of the frame. Kalamazoo capitalized to start the second off the stick of Brandon Saigeon (4) at the 1:45 mark to get the K-Wings scoring started. The Growlers regained the lead with a breakaway goal at the 4:15 mark, despite heavy offensive pressure by Kalamazoo. The K-Wings then drew another penalty at the 4:29 mark, and Justin Taylor (5) tipped in a heavy shot by Chad Nychuk (13) at the 5:05 mark to even the score again. Then, just three seconds into Kalamazoo’s next man-advantage opportunity, Max Humitz (9) fired a laser beam one-timer into the back of the net to take the lead at the 12:23 mark. After Newfoundland tied the game at the 16:09 mark, neither side scored in the third. Another breakaway opportunity resulted in the Growlers’ game-winner at the 1:49 mark of overtime. Evan Cormier (5-9-2-0) made 27 saves on 31 shots faced in the loss, and the K-Wings scored three power play goals (3/4) in a period for the first time since Jan. 16, 2019. The K-Wings penalty kill was a perfect 3/3 in the contest.

Saturday, Dec. 31 – Newfoundland 2, Kalamazoo 1 (Wings Event Center - Kalamazoo, MI) | Box Score

>>   The Kalamazoo Wings (12-13-3-0) went blow-for-blow with Newfoundland (20-8-1-0) in the annual New Year’s Eve game on Saturday at Wings Event Center, but the Growlers scored the go-ahead goal in the final minutes to earn the 2-1 victory. Newfoundland scored the only goal of the first two periods on the power play at the 15:08 mark of the first. The two teams skated to an 11-11 shot total after one, and the K-Wings poured it on in the second, outshooting the Growlers 17-5. Kalamazoo continued the offensive pressure in the third and scored the equalizer on the power play at the 6:15 mark. Tyler Irvine (3) gobbled up a rebound after the initial shot by Justin Taylor (8) and stuffed it in on the right side of the crease. Max Humitz (10) tied his career-long point streak at five games with the secondary assist, and Taylor tied Mike Wanchuk for No. 4 all-time in assists in K-Wings history (228). The K-Wings killed off two big penalties down the stretch and threatened to go-ahead multiple times, but the Growlers scored the game-winner at the 17:52 mark of the third. Evan Cormier (5-10-2-0) was phenomenal throughout and made 25 of 27 saves in the contest.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Friday, Jan. 6 – Kalamazoo at Toledo, 7:15 p.m. EST – Huntington Center (Toledo, OH)

Sunday, Jan. 8 – Kalamazoo at Wheeling, 4:10 p.m. EST – Wesbanco Arena (Wheeling, WV)

ON THE MOVE

No transactions to report.

FAST FACTS

·           Forward Max Humitz is currently on a five-game point streak (3G, 3A), tying his career-long point stretch (Dec. 18, 2021 - Jan. 8 2022) and tied Mason McCarty and Brandon Saigeon for the team lead in points (19) with his assist on Saturday versus Newfoundland.

·           Alternate captain Justin Taylor tied Mike Wanchuk for No. 4 in K-Wings history in assists (228) with his assist on Tyler Irvine’s third-period goal on Saturday.

·           The K-Wings scored three power-play goals in a game for the first time this season on Friday and scored three power-play goals in one period for the first time since Jan. 16, 2019.

TEAM TRENDS

·       8-0-0-0 when scoring 4+ goals

·       5-0-0-0 when leading after 1 Period   

·       4-1-1-0 on Fridays this season

STATISTICAL LEADERS

POINTS:              19 – Max Humitz, Mason McCarty, Brandon Saigeon

GOALS:               11 – Mason McCarty

ASSISTS:            15 – Brandon Saigeon

PLUS/MINUS:    +5 – Ryan Cook

PIMS:                   40 – Justin Murray

PP GOALS:           4 – Matheson Iacopelli

PP ASSISTS:        7 –  Justin Murray, Chad Nychuk

SH GOALS:           1 – Raymond Brice

GW GOALS:          3 – Raymond Brice, Max Humitz

SHOTS:                73 – Max Humitz

WINS:                  5 – Evan Cormier

GAA:                    2.64 – Hunter Vorva

SAVE %:             .918 – Hunter Vorva

* Currently with Cleveland (AHL)

** Currently with Columbus (NHL) 

SPECIAL TEAMS

POWER PLAY:   Last Week – 4/10 (40.0%)

                           This Season – 21/103 (20.4%) – No. 15 in the ECHL                         

PENALTY KILL:   Last Week – 9/10 (90.0%)

                            This Season – 80/101 (79.2%) – No. 15 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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