K-Wings Put up 52 Shots, Stymied by Toledo's Christopoulos
KALAMAZOO, MI - Despite firing 21 shots on goal in the opening period and 52 total, the Kalamazoo Wings (23-29-7-1) ran into a hot goalie, Toledo's Billy Christopoulos, in a 5-1 loss to the Walleye (36-17-4-1) Sunday at Wings Event Center.
Kalamazoo peppered Christopoulos in first ten minutes of the game, taking a 16-4 shots advantage. However, a neutral zone turnover during the K-Wings' first power play gave Toledo's Gregor MacLeod a breakaway, who was hooked up on his way to the net. MacLeod scored on the ensuing penalty shot and Josh Kestner added a second Walleye goal less than two minutes later to make it 2-0 quickly. The K-Wings finished the frame with a 21-10 shots advantage.
Kyle Bonis added to Toledo's lead on a 2-on-1 when he beat goaltender Austin Lotz over the blocker to make it 3-0. Former Western Michigan University standout Shane Berschbach made it 4-0 on a Walleye power play before the end of the middle period.
The K-Wings showed no quit in the third period as Kyle Blaney snapped Christopoulos's shutout bid on Kalamazoo's 36th shot out of a net-mouth scramble 1:22 into the stanza. Twice through the middle of the period, the K-Wings failed to convert on power play opportunities, but managed 17 shots to Toledo's four in the frame. The Walleye capitalized shortly after their power play ended when Marcus Vela snapped the fifth goal into the net from low in the right circle.
Christopoulos finished the evening with 51 saves, a career high, on Kalamazoo's season-best 52 shots. Lotz stopped 18 of 23 in his debut.
Kalamazoo hosts the Indy Fuel at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday at Wings Event Center in a huge game for the K-Wings' playoff hopes with 12 games remaining in the regular season. Fans can enjoy $2 beers and sodas, $6 wings baskets and $9 tickets to the game for Kalamazoo's "2-6-9 Night" feature on week nights.
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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