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 Kalamazoo Wings

K-Wings Weekly: Kalamazoo Sets Home Turnout High, Preps for Decisive Final Week

April 8, 2024 - ECHL (ECHL)
Kalamazoo Wings News Release


K-Wings ready for final week of regular season with post-season birth in balance.

OVERALL RECORD: 36-30-3-0

LAST WEEK: 1-3-0-0

KALAMAZOO, MI - The Kalamazoo Wings, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Vancouver Canucks, play their final three games of the 2023-24 regular season on the road this week.

With 5,226 (Saturday) and 4,162 (Sunday) fans in the building, Kalamazoo boosted its season attendance to an ECHL-era high 3,866 per home contest. The figure is the K-Wings' highest average in 28 seasons (1994-95) and goes in the books as the fourth-highest in franchise history.

Last week, the K-Wings went 1-3-0-0 (3-0, 2-3, 1-5, 2-4).

Kalamazoo opened the week in Cincinnati on Wednesday. The K-Wings rode Jonathan Lemieux performance in net in addition to goals from Josh Passolt, Ayden MacDonald and Collin Adams to secure a 3-0 victory.

The K-Wings matched up with the Cyclones for the final time in Cincinnati on Friday. A late Erik Bradford goal pulled Kalamazoo within one but Kalamazoo ultimately fell to the Cyclones, 3-2. Ted Nichol also scored his first goal since returning from injury in the loss.

Kalamazoo returned home to face the Cyclones on Saturday. Michael Joyaux scored a power-play goal assisted by David Keefer and Hunter Vorva in the 5-1 loss in front of a sellout crowd at Wings Event Center.

The K-Wings played their final home game of the regular season Sunday versus Fort Wayne. Collin Adams and Josh Passolt each found the back of the net while rookie Ryan Naumovski recorded his first pro point in the tightly contested 4-2 defeat.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN DETAIL

The K-Wings play three games on the road this week.

2024-25 season tickets went on sale TODAY! Click HERE to join the ranks of the High Flyers, and attend all 36 of the K-Wings home games next season for as low as $12 a game. Stay tuned for potential playoff ticket on-sale date.

RESULTS

Wednesday, Apr. 3 - Kalamazoo 3, Cincinnati 0 (Heritage Bank Center, Cincinnati, OH) | Box Score

The Kalamazoo Wings (36-27-3-0) used strong special teams play and perfect goaltending to defeat the Cincinnati Cyclones (29-32-6-0) at Heritage Bank Center Wednesday, 3-0. Goaltender Jonathan Lemieux (17-16-2-0) picked up his third-straight win with a perfect 35-for-35 performance in net. The clean sheet goes in the books as the rookie's second professional shutout. Josh Passolt (23) netted the game-winner by converting on a shorthanded breakaway from outside the crease at the 12:26 mark of the second period. Erik Bradford (51) assisted Passolt by causing a Cincinnati turnover in the neutral zone. Ayden MacDonald (12) doubled Kalamazoo's lead with a wrister from the slot on the power play at 15:23. Collin Adams (19) made it 3-0 with a breakaway goal at the 13:35 mark of the third. Adams maintained control of the puck and powered past a Cincinnati trailer to cash in after forcing a turnover in the Kalamazoo end. Kalamazoo finished the game 1-for-5 on the power play and a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Cincinnati took the final shot total, 35-22.

Friday, Apr. 5 - Kalamazoo 2, Cincinnati 3 (Heritage Bank Center, Cincinnati, OH) | Box Score

The Kalamazoo Wings (36-28-3-0) pulled within one late but were unable to find a second extra-attacker goal and fell to the Cincinnati Cyclones (30-32-6-0) at Heritage Bank Center Friday, 3-2. Erik Bradford (29) pulled Kalamazoo within one with a one-timer from the right circle with the extra attacker at the 18:35 mark of the third. Ayden MacDonald (9) fed Bradford from the left side after receiving the puck from Derek Daschke (20). Cincinnati opened the scoring at the 19:34 mark of the first period and doubled its lead with a shorthanded goal at the 9:00 mark of the third. Ted Nichol (4) made it 2-1 with a tap-in from the blue paint at the 10:58 mark. Chaz Reddekopp (8) assisted Nichol off an Evan Dougherty (9) faceoff win. The Cyclones added an empty-netter at 18:12. Goaltender Jonathan Lemieux (17-16-2-0) stopped 19 of 20 shots faced before exiting the game due to injury at the 16:48 mark of the second. Hunter Vorva (18-12-0-0) made three saves on four shots in relief. Kalamazoo finished the game scoreless on the power play and a perfect 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. Cincinnati took the final shot total, 25-21.

Saturday, Apr. 6 - Cincinnati 5, Kalamazoo 1 (Wings Event Center, Kalamazoo, MI) | Box Score

The Kalamazoo Wings (36-29-3-0) fell to the Cincinnati Cyclones (31-32-6-0) in front of 5,226 at Wings Event Center Saturday, 5-1. Kalamazoo finished its regular season series with Cincinnati 6-4-0-0 and took the season series for the first time since 2014-15. The team also boosted their regular season attendance average to 3,852 through 35 games, hitting the books as the highest-attended season in 38 years (1994-95) with one game remaining. Cincinnati opened the scoring at the 2:17 mark of the first period and doubled its lead at 14:17. The Cyclones took a 3-0 lead at the 8:47 mark of the second. Michael Joyaux (6) got Kalamazoo on the board with a rocket from the slot on the power play at the 15:25 mark. David Keefer (31) fed Joyaux from the left side after breaking a defender's ankles while goaltender Hunter Vorva (1) recorded the secondary assist. Cincinnati made it 4-1 at the 16:05 mark of the third period and added an empty-netter at 18:48. Vorva (18-13-0-0) made 25 saves on 29 shots faced. Kalamazoo finished the game 1-for-3 on the power play and accrued no penalty minutes in the contest. The K-Wings took the final shot total, 32-30.

Sunday, Apr. 7 - Fort Wayne 4, Kalamazoo 2 (Wings Event Center, Kalamazoo, MI) | Box Score

The Kalamazoo Wings (36-30-3-0) staged a second period comeback but ultimately fell to the Fort Wayne Komets (35-27-3-3) at Wings Event Center Sunday, 4-2. The team boosted their regular season attendance average to 3,866 through 36 games, hitting the books as the highest-attended season in 28 years (1994-95) and the fourth-highest in franchise history. Fort Wayne opened the scoring at the 16:09 mark of the first period and doubled its lead with 11 seconds remaining in the frame. Josh Passolt (24) responded by burying a loose puck from the slot at the 1:44 mark of the second. Collin Adams (20) tied the game 2-2 with a one-timer from just inside the right circle at the 3:31 mark. Ryan Naumovski (1) recorded his first pro point with the primary assist after a Fort Wayne turnover. Fort Wayne made it 3-2 at the 7:23 mark. The Komets added an empty netter with 25.3 seconds remaining in regulation. Goaltender Hunter Vorva (18-14-0-0) kept Kalamazoo in the game and made 31 saves on 34 shots faced. The K-Wings finished the game scoreless on the power play and a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. Kalamazoo took the final shot total, 36-35.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Wednesday, Apr. 10 - Kalamazoo at Iowa, 7:35 p.m. EDT - Xtream Arena (Coralville, IA)

Friday, Apr. 12 - Kalamazoo at Iowa, 7:35 p.m. EDT - Xtream Arena (Coralville, IA)

Saturday, Apr. 13 - Kalamazoo at Indy, 7:00 p.m. EDT - Indiana Farmers Coliseum (Indianapolis, IN)

ON THE MOVE

Apr. 5 Defenseman Chad Nychuk was loaned to Kalamazoo from Abbotsford (AHL)

Apr. 6 Goaltender Trevor Babin was signed to a Professional Tryout

FAST FACTS

Rookie forward Ryan Naumovski recorded his first professional point with an assist Sunday

Forward Josh Passolt scored his 50th ECHL goal Sunday

Veteran forward Erik Bradford ranks No. 3 in the ECHL with 82 points and passed K-Wings legend Nick Bootland (81) for the most points amassed in a single season since 2007-08

TEAM TRENDS

24-0-0-0 when scoring four or more goals this season

21-9-1-0 when scoring on the power play this season

8-3-0-0 in overtime/shootouts this season

STATISTICAL LEADERS

POINTS: 82 - Erik Bradford

GOALS: 29 - Erik Bradford

ASSISTS: 53 - Erik Bradford

PLUS/MINUS: +15 - Erik Bradford

PIMS: 194 - Chaz Reddekopp

PP GOALS: 6 - Ayden MacDonald

PP ASSISTS: 15 - Erik Bradford

SH GOALS: 2 - Josh Passolt

GW GOALS: 6 - Collin Adams

SHOTS: 207 - Erik Bradford

WINS: 18 - Hunter Vorva

GAA: 2.58 - Hunter Vorva

SAVE %: .918 - Hunter Vorva

* Currently with Abbotsford (AHL)

** Currently with Vancouver (NHL)

SPECIAL TEAMS

POWER PLAY: Last Week - 2/14 (14.3%)

This Season - 39/220 (17.7%) - No. 22 in the ECHL

PENALTY KILL: Last Week - 9/9 (100%)

This Season - 190/230 (82.6%) - No. 6 in the ECHL


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