K-Wings' Fast Start Erased in Wheeling
WHEELING, WV - An early Kalamazoo Wings lead lasted just 41 seconds before the Wheeling Nailers (9-8-4-0) used three goals in a 1:47 span to jumpstart a 6-2 come-from-behind win over the Wings (6-11-2-0) Friday at WesBanco Arena.
Back in the lineup for the first time since Nov. 2, Justin Taylor returned from the American Hockey League's Utica Comets and jump-started Kalamazoo's offense. Taylor sped past the Wheeling defense and although his shot was stopped by Jordan Ruby, Yannick Veilleux cashed in on the rebound 2:51 into the game.
The Nailers flipped the script quickly with three separate goals on 2-on-1 rushes, forcing the K-Wings to use their timeout 5:19 into the game with the score 3-1. The first goal was a backdoor tap-in by Jan Drozg, followed 1:18 later by the first of an eventual hat trick from Brandon Hawkins.
Hawkins elected to shoot on an ensuing 2-on-1 just 29 seconds later and snapped a shot over Jake Hildebrand's shoulder and under the crossbar to give the Nailers three goals on their first three shots.
Kalamazoo followed its timeout with a power play goal on its first of seven opportunities to make it 3-2 heading into the first intermission. The goal ricocheted off of Zach Saar in front of the net before sliding across the goal line.
Wheeling added some insurance in the second period when Ryan Scarfo swept a short-handed goal past Hildebrand who was left out in no man's land during a Wings defensive zone turnover. Myles Powell made it 5-2 after scooping up a loose puck in the slot that Kalamazoo initially blocked.
Hawkins completed his hat trick with a wrist shot from the point through a screen during a late 5-on-3 power play in the third period to make it 6-2.
The K-Wings and Nailers face-off again Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling. Catch the action on 1660AM, The Fan, or ECHL TV, with pregame coverage starting at 6:45 p.m.
Kalamazoo Wings 3-Packs are now available online! Reserve your tickets for the three biggest games in the best seats with the best eats. Visit kwings.com for more information about all the perks that come with a K-Wings 3-Pack!
The Kalamazoo Wings are a professional hockey team located in southwest Michigan that has been a staple in the Kalamazoo, MI professional sports landscape since 1974. The K-Wings compete in the ECHL and are the AA affiliate of the National Hockey League's Vancouver Canucks. Kalamazoo plays their 36 regular season home games at Wings Event Center from October through April.
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