View Full Version : Kalamazoo Wings @ Bloomington Thunder ... 3/20/09
03-22-2009, 04:31 AM
Kalamazoo Wings beat Bloomington Thunder 4-3
IHL/Game Stats -
03-22-2009, 04:35 AM
K-Wings Website -
ISN'T THAT SPECIAL
Kalamazoo Registers Three Special Team Goals in 4-3 Victory
Mike Modugno-Director of Public Relations and Broadcaster
March 20, 2009
Bloomington, IL – Scoring once on the power-play and twice shorthanded, the fourth-place, Kalamazoo Wings increased their lead for the final playoff spot in the International Hockey League with a 4-3 victory over the fifth-place, Bloomington PrairieThunder.
Special teams paved the way for the K-Wings in the opening 20 minutes of action leading to both of the team’s goals. While attempting to kill of a penalty, Rick Cleaver intercepted a Bloomington pass in the neutral zone, which led to an odd-man rush and a Cleaver shorthanded goal. Cleaver’s tally at 9:39 was his IHL rookie-leading 51st point and 24th goal of the season.
Making the most of their lone power-play chance of the period three minutes later, Casey Handrahan gave a perfect outlet pass to Tommy Lange (21st), who proceeded down ice skating around three Thunder players like they were pylons. Lange finished off the play using a deke to freeze goaltender Jason Wolfe and scored five-hole. Lange’s goal extends his point streak to a K-Wings’ current-high six games.
Jan Jas (21st) brought Bloomington back to within a single goal, scoring on a rebound 4:34 into the second period.
While Jan’s goal gave the Thunder momentum, it would be short lived. Kalamazoo recorded their second shorthanded goal on the night midway in the frame, when Martin Ondrej fed Lucas Drake, who finished off the two-on-one scoring his team-leading 26th of the season. The lamp-lighter was also Drake’s team-leading third shorthanded goal.
Growing their lead in the third period, Justin Cross (8th) gave the K-Wings their largest lead of the night at 4-1 scoring on a breakaway 2:18 into the final period.
The K-Wings didn’t know it then, but they would need every bit of that three-goal cushion, as Bloomington answered late with goals from Matt Frick (3rd) and Nick Goyens (4th), but it wouldn’t be enough as Kalamazoo hung on for the one goal victory.
03-22-2009, 04:39 AM
Thunder Website -
Short-Handed Goals Drop PrairieThunder
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Two short-handed goals helped power the Kalamazoo Wings past the Bloomington PrairieThunder, 4-3, before 2,732 people Friday night at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in International Hockey League action.
The loss dropped the PrairieThunder record to 27-30-1-4 (59 points) and 14 points behind the Wings in the battle for the final post-season playoff berth. Kalamazoo improved to 36-28-1-0 (73 points).
The Wings gained a 2-0 lead in the first period on an unassisted, short-handed goal by Rick Cleaver at the 10:21 mark. Kalamazoo added its second goal on a power play goal by Tommy Lange off an assist by Casey Handrahan with 7:17 to go.
Jan Jas cut the deficit in half for the PrairieThunder when he scored with 15:26 remaining in the second period on an assist by Jon Booras and Mike Kusy.
Lucas Drake extended the Wings’ advantage to 3-1 with 9:27 left in the second period on a short-handed goal off assists by Martin Ondrej and Justin Cross. Kalamazoo’s fourth score came from Cross on an unassisted effort with 17:42 left in the game.
The PrairieThunder scored two goals in the final 12:35 as Matt Frick scored the first one on an assist by Booras. Nick Goyens then scored with 4:51 to go on assists by Jason Lepine and Marty Standish.
Bloomington goaltender Jason Wolfe stopped 19 of 23 shots before being relieved Ryan Ludzik in the third period. Ludzik stopped four shots. Jason Tapp earned the win for the Wings by stopping 30 of 33 shots.
Kalamazoo was 1 of 2 on the power play, while Bloomington was unsuccessful in five tries.
03-22-2009, 04:47 AM
Kalamazoo Newspaper -
K-Wings Survive Off Bloomington Comeback
Kalamazoo Gazette Staff
March 20, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - The Kalamazoo Wings enjoyed a 4-1 lead early in the third period, then held off a Bloomington rally for a 4-3 win against the PrairieThunder Friday night.
The win gives the K-Wings (36-28-1-0) a 14-point cushion between themselves and the Thunder (27-30-1-4), who are in fifth place in the International Hockey League. The K-Wings, who snapped a three-game losing skid, remain in fourth, the last playoff spot.
"The guys played real well all night," K-Wings coach Nick Bootland said. "They came prepared to play a full 60 minutes."
With the K-Wings holding a three-goal lead midway through the final period, Bloomington coach Jarrod Skalde pulled goalie Jason Wolfe for Ryan Ludzik.
"I'm sure he was using that for motivation for his players," Bootland said. "They started to put the pressure on us.
"We made one mistake that resulted in a goal, and they made it interesting."
The K-Wings special teams clicked on their first three tallies, beginning with Rick Cleaver, who intercepted a pass, then skated in for an unassisted, shorthanded goal 9:30 into the game.
Tommy Lange extended his points streak to six games, splitting the Thunder defense and firing a backhander past Wolfe for the K-Wings' only power-play tally.
Lucas Drake, taking a feed from Martin Ondrej on a 2-on-1 rush, scored his team-high third shorthanded goal midway through the second period, giving the K-Wings a 3-1 lead.
Justin Cross, stealing the puck, lit the lamp for a comfortable 4-1 K-Wings' cushion 2:18 into the final period, but that tally ended up being the game-winner.
The Thunder's first goal, by Jan Jas 4:34 into the second period, came on the third rebound after goalie Jason Tapp stopped the first two shots.
Matt Frick and Nick Goyens scored within a three-minute span after Wolfe was pulled, but Tapp turned away all attempts to tie the game.
The newest K-Wing, center Shea Hamilton, made his debut with a third-period bout against Corey Rutt.
In another transaction, the K-Wings waived defenseman Dylan Rowe, acquired a week ago in a trade with the Fort Wayne Komets.
03-22-2009, 05:14 AM
Bloomington Newspaper -
Disastrous Start Dooms Thunder
March 20, 2009 - Doug Hamm
The Bloomington PrairieThunder teased its fans Friday night by staging a frantic rally in the final 10 minutes.
But as Thunder rookie defenseman Nick Goyens lamented, “It was a little bit too late.”
The damage had already been done in the first two periods, when the Wings built a lead they never relinquished behind shorthanded goals by Rick Cleaver and Lucas Drake.
The Thunder went 0 for 5 on the power play overall while falling 14 points behind Kalamazoo and the International Hockey League’s final playoff berth with 14 games remaining.
“We got caught playing catch up,” said Goyens, who returned to the lineup after suffering a concussion last Saturday at Muskegon. “We’ve just got to learn to make sure to score on the power play and keep the shorthanded chances for the other team to a minimum.
“And we have to play our game. When we start playing into other team’s games that’s when we get into trouble.”
Kalamazoo coach Nick Bootland wasn’t surprised the Thunder came roaring back.
“We know they’re a team that’s not ever going to give up,” Bootland said. “They’re coached well and they have that mentality as a group to keep coming. We knew if we slacked off in any way that they were going to keep coming hard and that’s what they did here tonight.”
Bootland’s kind comments aside, the Wings set the tone from the outset and appeared to be the hungrier team despite the must-win situation the Thunder faced. It won’t get any easier for the Thunder with back-to-back games against Fort Wayne, which is making a late run for first place.
“We still have two more games this weekend with four points,” said Thunder coach Jarrod Skalde. “We definitely need help from Kalamazoo and other teams. We just approach tomorrow the same way we’ve been approaching it that we need to get some points tomorrow night.”
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