Game Day: Wings Look to Spoil Komets Home Opener
Kalamazoo, MI.- The Kalamazoo Wings look to finish the first multi-game weekend of the season by spoiling the Ft. Wayne Komets home opener, as the teams conclude a season series on Saturday night in Ft. Wayne.
Kalamazoo (1-1-0-0) at Ft. Wayne (121-0-0)
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Last Time Out:
Kalamazoo and Ft. Wayne return to the ice on Saturday after kicking off the weekend set on Friday night at Wings Event Center. On a night that the K-Wings honored the most prolific scorer in franchise history, it was defense that was the name of the game. Only one goal was scored in each period but a late third period tally from Kyle Thomas gave the K-Wings the 2-1 victory.
In his second professional game, Chris Collins netted his second goal of the season only 0:15 into regulation to give Kalamazoo the early lead. After a tying goal from Anthony Petruzzeli in the second period, Jake Hildebrand and Lukas Hafner shut the door on each end of the ice, combining for 20 saves. Thomas' goal with 5:14 left in regulation broke the 1-1 deadlock, and gave the Wings their first victory of the season. Hildebrand stopped 30 of 31 shots, while Hafner stopped 26 of 28. Both teams ended the night 0-for-4 on the power play.
Two games into the season the K-Wings have a trio of players with points in each of the first two games. Forwards Chris Collins, Chad McDonald, and Kyle Thomas have all three found the scoresheet in each of the first two contests. Collins, a rookie, has recorded a pair of goals, including the opening goal on Friday night just 0:15 into regulation. McDonald, also a rookie, has picked up an assist in each of his first two games. Friday night's hero, Kyle Thomas, has a goal in each of the first two game as well. Thomas finished the 2017-18 season with goals in back-to-back games, giving the forward a four-game scoring streak. In his last four games Thomas has registered seven points (6g, 2a).
First of Many:
Saturday will be the first of 8 trips to Memorial Coliseum this season for the K-Wings. Kalamazoo and Ft. Wayne play a total of 13 times this year with the majority coming in Ft. Wayne. Those trips are spread out across the course of the season as the rivals will face each other at least once a month for every month during the season, except April.
Komets Turned K-Wings:
A pair of former Komets took the ice against their former team on Friday night for the first time. Russ Jordan and Kyle Thomas both played at one point for the Komets. Jordan began his pro career with the Komets last season after the conclusion of his collegiate career at Hamline. The forward appeared in five games recording a single assist before finishing up schooling. Thomas had a more extensive career with the Komets appearing in 142 games over the course of three seasons for the black and orange. The Waltham, MA native made his debut with the Komets during the 2014-15 season, and stayed with the organization until the 2016-17 season. His last season in Ft. Wayne was his most prolific, recording 69 points in 58 games.
After finishing the weekend set with Ft. Wayne the K-Wings turn their attentions to division foe Cincinnati. Kalamazoo will go travel to face the Cyclones on Friday, Oct. 26 before returning home to host the Cyclones on Oct. 27 for Orange Ice and Nickelodeon Night. Kalamazoo will be wearing Ninja Turtle themed jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game on the ice. The Ninja Turtles will be on hand as well to meet fans during the game. For more information on that and other packages fans can go to www.KWings.com.
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