FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2023
K-WINGS THRILL BEHIND CAPTAIN, BEAT KOMETS AT HOME
Kalamazoo responds to Fort Wayne’s third period push with 5-on-3 goal, three Murray points and key penalty kills late.
*Game Report updated on April 1 at 11:30 a.m. to reflect official scoring corrections
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Wings (26-34-4-0), proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, took it to the Fort Wayne Komets (32-25-4-3) and fended off a third-period charge on their way to a 4-3 victory on Friday at Wings Event Center.
Justin Murray led the K-Wings with a goal (4) and two assists (25, 26) for the first three-point game of his career.
Justin Taylor (17) scored the game-winning goal at the 9:52 mark of the third period after Aidan Spellacy laid a big hit on Fort Wayne’s Oliver Cooper to start a chain of events that led to two Komets heading to the penalty box. With the 5-on-3 advantage, Ben Copeland (1) fired a shot from the top of the slot that Taylor deflected into the net. Brad Morrison (12) earned the secondary assist on the goal.
Kalamazoo opened the game’s scoring at the 16:43 mark of the first off the stick of Morrison (13), who earned his first goal as a K-Wing as well in the process. Morrison drove the puck up ice right down into the slot on a 3-on-2 rush, firing a wrister just inside the right post. Murray had the lone assist on the opening goal.
Murray then found the back of the net himself just 2:15 seconds later to make it 2-0 Kalamazoo. The K-Wings captain flung the puck in from the left point, and it deflected off of a Fort Wayne defender into the back of the net. Luke Morgan (15) and Aidan MacDonald (11) assisted on Murray’s score, with MacDonald earning his first point as a K-Wing with the helper.
The Komets responded with a goal in the opening minute of the second period to trim the deficit to 2-1.
Kalamazoo struck right back as MacDonald (6) scored his first goal with the K-Wings just 44 seconds later to extend the lead back to two. On the play, Murray skated behind the Komets’ goal and found Connor Fedorek (1) at the blue line. Fedorek then fired a shot that MacDonald redirected into the back of the net. The assist went in the books as Fedorek’s first professional point.
Fort Wayne then netted goals at the 1:53 and 3:22 marks of the third to tie the game. But the K-Wings responded with more offense the rest of the way, outshooting the Komets 40-26 in the contest.
Evan Cormier (10-18-3-0) was stout in net throughout the evening, making 23 saves on 26 shots faced and helped Kalamazoo to a perfect 5-for-5 performance on the penalty kill with some highlight-reel rejections.
The K-Wings immediately face the Iowa Heartlanders (18-33-13-1) Saturday at 7:00 p.m. EDT at Wings Event Center.
It’s morphin time, as Saturday’s game is ‘Power Rangers Night’ at Wings Event Center with Kalamazoo paying tribute to the iconic 90s show. Tickets are available HERE, and stick around after the game for the Power Rangers jersey auction.
It’s the last regular-season $3 Friday game of the season, and we want to celebrate you, the fans, as the K-Wings take on the Toledo Walleye on April 14 at Wings Event Center. Get your ticket’s HERE, and we’ll supply the $3 beers, sodas and hot dogs so all you need to do is come cheer on your favorite team. We’ll also be giving away free team posters upon entry to the arena.
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.