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Game Day: K-Wings Hit Halfway Point against Komets, Dirk Rejoins K-Wings

January 13, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) - Kalamazoo Wings News Release

Kalamazoo, MI.- The K-Wings hit the road for a Sunday evening contest traveling to Fort Wayne to take on the Komets.

GAME #36

Kalamazoo (15-18-0-2) at Fort Wayne (21-14-0-1)

5:00 pm

Watch: ECHL.TV,

Listen: 1660 The Fan

Last Time Out:

A back and forth contest between the K-Wings and Beast needed the skills competition to decide a winner, as Kalamazoo fell 4-3 in the shootout on Friday night. Reid Gardiner got the K-Wings on the board in the opening period with a power play goal, extending his point streak to 15-games, and putting the K-Wings up 1-0. Brampton answered back, netting each of the next two goals including one in the final minute of the period, to take a 2-1 lead into the intermission. Trailing by one the K-Wings got each of the next two goals, taking a lead at 3-2 in the final two minutes of the second. As they did in the first, Brampton scored in the final minute of the period, this time to tie the game at 3-3. That deadlock would sit through the period and past overtime, sending the teams into a shootout. Brampton scored in the first and fifth rounds of the skills competition, skating away with the 4-3 shootout victory. Collin Jacobs, who shot in the first round, was the only player to score in the shootout for Kalamazoo.

Scouting the Komets:

Fort Wayne heads into Sunday's match up with the K-Wings wrapping up a three-in-three weekend, sandwiching a pair of Central Division foes, Indy and Kalamazoo, around a meeting with the Grizzlies. Forwards Justin Hodgman and Jake Kamrass have paced the way for the Komet offense so far this season, averaging just around the point per game mark. Heading into Saturday's game Hodgman had 39 points for the Komets. Forward JC Campagna, who was acquired from Allen early in the season, leads the offense with 16 goals. With netminder Zach Fucale recalled to Chicago (AHL), the Komets have relied on Lucas Hafner to shoulder the load in net. Netminder Hayden Stewart, who has yet to appear in a game for the Komets, played five games with the Orlando Solar Bears before joining the Komets.

All the Offense (Literally):

The line of Chris Collins, Tanner Sorenson, and Reid Gardiner notched all three K-Wings goals in the shootout loss to the Brampton Beast on Friday night. With those three goals the line has now factored on each of the K-Wings last 13 goals, and 18 of the last 20 goals scored by the K-Wings dating back to December 28. During that span all three forwards have continued their point streaks, and risen up the K-Wings point standings. Collins leads the team with 42 points, while Gardiner is second with 34 points, and Sorenson is fifth with 21 points.

Leading the League:

Two points on Friday night helped Chris Collins move into a tied with Wichita's Steven Iacobellis for the lead among all rookies in points (42). His 16th goal of the season also moved the forward into a tie for second place among all rookies in goals, one back from the league leader.

In addition the rookie also moved into second place in the ECHL in scoring, trailing only Toledo's TJ Hensick by four points. Collins also leads the league in short handed goals, assists, and points.

Roster Update:

The K-Wings made a trio of changes from Friday to Sunday. Defenseman Jagger Dirk was reassigned to the K-Wings on Sunday afternoon from the Utica Comets and is expected to be in the lineup on Sunday in Fort Wayne. Dirk rejoins the K-Wings after starting the season in Kalamazoo. The Penticton, BC native skated in nine games with the AHL Comets, recording a single assist to go with a plus-two rating.

Forward Justin Taylor has been placed on Injured Reserve to make room on the roster for Dirk. In addition the K-Wings released goaltender Storm Phaneuf.

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