Game Day: Jersey Retirement, Alumni Game Highlight 45th Anniversary Game
Kalamazoo, MI.- The Kalamazoo Wings honor the past 45 years of K-Wings hockey on Saturday night as they wrap up the weekend against Toledo. Saturday will feature an alumni game, starting at 5:00pm, as well as the jersey retirment of Georges Gagnon's number one jersey.
Kalamazoo (17-19-0-2) vs. Toledo (23-10-3-1)
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Last Time Out:
Cincinnati scored once in the first two periods and twice in the third pushing past the K-Wings 4-1 on Friday night at Wings Event Center. The Cyclones got on the board first as Mike Marnell tapped a pass from Justin Vaive past Keegan Asmundson to put the Cyclones up 1-0. The score sat there until the Cyclones got on the board again, flipping the scoring line as Marnell assisted on Vaive's 14th goal of the season, doubling the lead. Kalamazoo would cut the lead in half eight minutes later as Kyle Blaney, cutting across the net, sent a pass from Kyle Thomas to the back of the net, bringing the K-Wings on the board and within one. Blaney's tally was the only one that Kalamazoo would pick up however. Cincinnati scored twice in the third getting goals from Myles Powell and Pascal Aquin to push the score to 4-1 when the final horn sounded. The defeat was the seventh straight at the hands of the Cyclones for the Wings.
All Good Things Must Come to an End:
Friday night's game marked the end of Reid Gardiner's 17-game point streak. The forward set the longest point-streak in the ECHL this season, and tied last year's longest mark. During the 17-game streak, which lasted from Dec. 9 to Jan. 16, Gardiner netted 32 points. Gardiner leads all active K-Wings with 41 points. Only Chris Collins, who is currently with the Manitoba Moose (AHL) has more points than Gardiner this season. In addition Tanner Sorenson saw his 11-game streak come to an end on Friday night as well.
Scouting the Walleye:
Toledo begins the weekend on Saturday night against the K-Wings. The Walleye are currently sitting in second place in the ECHL's Central Division, six points back from Division leading Cincinnati. Forward TJ Hensick leads the Walleye,and all active ECHL skaters with 47 points this season. His 33 assists are also tops in the ECHL. Behind Hensick is former K-Wing and Bronco Shane Berschbach who leads the team in goals (16) and is second in points (41). Netminders Pat Nagle and Kaden Fulcher have shared the net, and split time against the K-Wings this season. Nagle, who's appeared in three games against the K-Wings this season, has played in 22 games for the Walleye, posting a record of 13-7-1-0, in addition to a 3.19 goals against average and a .895 save percentage.
The Walleye have taken each of the first five meetings of the season between the teams and are 10-1-0-0 against Kalamazoo in the last two seasons. Shane Berschbach is tied with Greg Wolfe for the season series lead with eight points. Berschbach finds himself tied with Chris Collins for the series lead in goals (4). Collins is the only K-Wing to have scored more than once against the Walleye this season. Reid Gardiner (5 pts) and Kyle Bushee (4 pts) lead all K-Wings in points against the Walleye.
And Then There Was One:
With Chris Collins in Manitoba on Friday night Kyle Bushee is now the lone K-Wing who has appeared in every game so far this season. In each of the last two seasons only one skater has laced up for every game. Bushee has never appeared in all 72 games during his ECHL career, with the most games played being 69.
Going to the Rafters:
The K-Wings will retire the number one jersey of former netminder Georges Gagnon on Saturday night before the game as a part of the 45th Anniversary celebrations. Gagnon, who played in Kalamazoo from 1979-87, is the third player to have his number retired by Kalamazoo. His number one jersey joins Mike Wanchuk's #22 and Kevin Schamehorn's #26 as the only numbers hanging in Wings Event Center.
The K-Wings will also be hosting an alumni game, prior to the K-Wings game, pitting alumni from all eras against each other. The game, which beings at 5:00pm will consist of two 25 minute periods.
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