FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2023
K-WINGS STRIKE EARLY IN SOLD-OUT GREEN ICE GAME, KOMETS TAKE THIRD
Kalamazoo takes a 3-1 advantage into the third period, but Fort Wayne powers to victory in the final 20 minutes.
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Wings (23-31-4-0), proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, grabbed an early lead over the Fort Wayne Komets (30-22-4-2) in front of a sellout crowd at Wings Event Center for the annual ‘Green Ice’ game, but lost 5-3 Friday.
For the second consecutive game, Justin Taylor (15) scored first with a goal at the 5:55 mark of the opening frame. Taylor found a loose puck in the slot, as a Fort Wayne defender lost control deep in the defensive zone, and banged it home.
The Komets responded with a goal at the 7:09 mark to draw even.
Then, it was Coale Norris (10) scoring at the 3:34 mark of the second period to put the K-Wings back on top. Brandon Saigeon (25) brought the puck into the offensive zone, down the right slot and sent a quick pass to Norris crashing the crease to send it home inside the left post. Collin Saccoman (11) earned the secondary assist.
Kalamazoo added to the lead with a goal by Darby Llewellyn (7) at the 6:59 mark. On the play, Kurt Gosselin (4) forced a turnover and sent a pass to Justin Murray (23), who delivered the puck to Llewellyn in the right circle, and Darby powered a shot off the far post and in to make it 3-1.
But Fort Wayne fought back with a power play goal at the 5:34 mark of the third on some tough luck for Kalamazoo as a shot redirected off a K-Wings defender and into the net. The Komets then tied the game at the 8:39 mark, and took the lead with another power play score at the 12:56 mark.
An empty-net goal by Fort Wayne with 1:24 left in the game finished the scoring.
Pavel Cajan (5-4-0-0) made several key stops to keep Kalamazoo in the game. He finished with 20 saves on 24 shots faced.
The K-Wings immediately get back on the ice at Wings Event Center, hosting the Toledo Walleye (40-15-4-2) on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. EDT. It’s ‘Gladiator Night’ at Wings Event Center, and tickets are available HERE for a battle that’s sure to entertain throughout the evening as Kalamazoo pays homage to the great 90s film.
Slappy, the Kalamazoo Wings’ iconic mascot, is inviting all his friends to the Wings Event Center on Sunday, Mar. 19 for “Mascot Madness” versus the Iowa Heartlanders. You won’t want to miss the mascot game of broomball during the intermission, and to make this Sunday more special for Slappy, bring your skates to skate with him and the team post-game. 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.