Game Day: Three-Game Homestand Kicks off against Komets
Kalamazoo, MI- The Kalamazoo Wings kick off a three-game home stand on Friday night as they host the rival Fort Wayne Komets at Wings Event Center.
Kalamazoo (30-24-1-2) vs Fot Wayne (27-20-3-6)
Listen: 1660 the Fan
Last Time Out:
Kalamazoo ripped off four straight goals after surrendering the first goal of the night taking a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones on Sunday afternoon at Wings Event Center. The victory was the K-Wings first in the last eight attempts against the Cyclones, and first in regulation this season. After Brady Vail opened the scoring Eric Kattelus sandwiched a pair of goals around a Chad McDonald tally to give Kalamazoo a 3-1 lead just under halfway through the third period. Six minutes after the K-Wings pushed the lead to 3-1 with a power play goal, Luke Sandler netted his sixth goal of the season to push the K-Wing lead to 4-1. Cincinnati would add a second goal on the man-advantage in the final two minutes of play, but it was all the visitors would get the rest of the way as K-Wings topped the Cyclones 4-2. Matiss Kivlenieks stopped 38 of 40 shots, earning his second victory in a row and second of the week.
Sunday afternoon forward Zach Diamantoni picked up a pair of assists, tallying his first professional multi-point game. The Northern Michigan graduate has tallied nine points (1g, 8a) in his first professional season. During four seasons at Northern Michigan the forward notched 64 points in 150 games including a career high 24 points in his senior season.
Firing on the Power Play:
A power play goal in the third period on Sunday marked the sixth consecutive and tenth game in the last 11 that the K-Wings have scored while on the man-advantage. Kalamazoo is converting on 20.8% of power plays (52/250) this season, and ranks sixth in the ECHL. Kalamazoo is one of only four teams to have scored 50 or more power play goals this season. During their recent 11-game stretch Kalamazoo is converting on 26.79% of chances (15/56).
Kalamazoo and Fort Wayne have combined for several high scoring meetings through the first ten matchups of the season, including a 7-5 game that saw the Komets come away with two points on March 1. In the last four meetings against Fort Wayne the K-Wings have racked up 25 goals, working their way to a 6-4-0-0 record against Fort Wayne for the season. Chris Collins leads the way after scoring a hat trick last Friday with 15 points (9g, 6a) appearing in all ten games. Tanner Sorenson, who's played in six games, is right behind Collins with 14 points (4g, 10a). The Komets Justin Hodgman leads Fort Wayne with 13 points (2g, 11a) this season. Three Komet skaters have netted four goals against Kalamazoo this season.
The Sandy Man Finds the Net:
After beginning the season with three goals in his first 45 games, Luke Sandler has scored three times in his last four, including once in each of the last two games. Twice in his pro career Sandler has scored in three consecutive games, boht times coming during the 2016-17 season with Knoxville (SPHL). He has scored in back-to-back games twice this season.
Stringing Wins and Career Highs:
Matiss Kivlenieks stopped 38 shots on Sunday, follwing a 39 save performance on Wednesday stringing together victories for only the third time in his professional career. The 39 saves on Wednesday also set a career high for the Latvian netminder.
Kalamazoo continues a three-in-three homestand on Saturday evening as the Indy Fuel come to town for Wizards, Wands, and Wings night. Wings Event Center will be turned into the Wizarding World of Kalamazoo and the first 1,000 fans through the doors will receive special Slappy Wands. The team will also wear special blue, red and gold jerseys that will be auctioned off following the game.
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