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 Kalamazoo Wings

K-Wings Weekly: Kalamazoo Takes Two Last Week, Prep for Two at Home

March 27, 2023 - ECHL (ECHL)
Kalamazoo Wings News Release


Kalamazoo played three one-goal games last week, welcomes Fort Wayne and Iowa this week.

OVERALL RECORD: 25-34-4-0

LAST WEEK: 2-1-0-0

KALAMAZOO, MI - The Kalamazoo Wings, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets, play three contests this week with two at Wings Event Center. First, Kalamazoo hosts the Fort Wayne Komets on Friday, followed by another home matchup against the Iowa Heartlanders on Saturday. Finally, the K-Wings head to Indianapolis to play the Indy Fuel on Sunday.

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

On Friday, Kalamazoo traveled to West Virginia to face the Wheeling Nailers, winning 2-1. Goals weren't easy to come by as both teams played stout defense throughout the contest. Justin Taylor opened the scoring with a power play goal late in the first, but Wheeling struck back with a goal at the 2:51 mark of the second period. Early in the third, Collin Saccoman scored the game-winner and Pavel Cajan did the rest with a phenomenal game in goal. Cajan finished with 35 saves on 36 shots faced.

Then, the K-Wings were off to Indy to square off with the Fuel and won Saturday, 4-3 (OT). Kalamazoo scored first for the second game in a row, with Ben Copeland (2) scoring in the first minute of the second period. 51 seconds later, David Keefer's first professional goal made it 2-0. But Indy fought back in a hurry, scoring just 23 seconds later and adding a second goal to tie it at the 3:26 mark. The Fuel then took the lead with another score at the 16:37 mark. At the 14:04 mark of the third, Kyle Rhodes scored his first goal as a K-Wing to pull even. Evan Cormier kept the game alive from there, finishing with 36 saves on 39 shots faced including a spectacular save in overtime in which he pulled the puck off the goal line. That set up Copeland (3) to score the game-winning goal at the 2:32 mark of the extra period.

Finally, Kalamazoo battled Indy again on Sunday, falling 2-1. After another scoreless first period, the K-Wings struck first at the 14:10 mark of the second off the stick of David Keefer (2). After two scoreless periods in goal for Pavel Cajan, the Fuel scored two in the third. The tying goal came with an extra attacker on for Indy on a delayed penalty call to Kalamazoo, and the game-winning goal was scored with a 5-on-3 power play opportunity. Cajan shined again with 35 saves on 37 shots faced.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN DETAIL

The K-Wings play three games this week, with two highly-anticipated home games on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, Mar. 31, the K-Wings host the Fort Wayne Komets for '00's Night & $3 Friday' at 7:00 p.m. EDT at Wings Event Center. Come join us, as we celebrate the decade that brought Kalamazoo's last professional championship home. It will also be a $3 Friday, so enjoy $3 beers, sodas and hot dogs.

Then, on Saturday, Apr. 1, it's 'Power Rangers Night' as the K-Wings host the Iowa Heartlanders at 7:00 p.m. EDT at Wings Event Center. It's morphin' time at Wings Event Center, as we pay tribute to the iconic 90s show that found its way to the big screens & playgrounds everywhere. The Power Rangers Meet & Greet Ticket Package is also available for the game, with four white-level game tickets, a private meet & greet with a Power Ranger, and a photo with a Power Rangers character included. And stick around after the game for the Power Rangers jersey auction.

RESULTS

Friday, Mar. 24 - Kalamazoo 2, Wheeling 1 (WesBanco Arena - Wheeling, WV)

>> The Kalamazoo Wings (24-33-4-0) took down the Wheeling Nailers (25-32-5-0) behind a phenomenal defensive performance and even better goaltender play, winning 2-1 on Friday at WesBanco Arena. Pavel Cajan (6-5-0-0) refused to cave under heavy pressure from the Nailers, stopping 35 of 36 shots faced in the win. He turned in several highlight-reel-worthy stops, including a handful of point-blank robberies in the third period to preserve the lead. The K-Wings opened the scoring at the 17:25 mark of the first with Justin Taylor (16) notching a power play goal. Wheeling struck back at the 2:51 mark of the second period to tie the game at one. Early in the third period, Kalamazoo regained the lead with Collin Saccoman (3) blasting one from just above the right circle into a wide-open net at the 1:31 mark.

Saturday, Mar. 25 - Kalamazoo 4, Indy 3 (OT) (Indiana Farmers Coliseum - Indianapolis, IN)

>> The Kalamazoo Wings (25-33-4-0) outworked the Indy Fuel (37-22-4-0) in the third period, scored the equalizer and won in overtime Saturday at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, 4-3. Ben Copeland (3) scored the overtime game-winner from the right circle at 2:32 mark of the extra period. Justin Murray (24) carried the puck into the offensive zone and found Copeland streaming up the right side. Neither team scored in the first period, and Copeland(2) opened the scoring just 55 seconds into the second period for the K-Wings. Just 51 seconds later, David Keefer (1) scored his first professional goal to make it 2-0 Kalamazoo. Indy responded with goals at the 2:09 and 3:26 marks of the middle frame with the first coming just 23 seconds after Keefer's goal. The Fuel then took the lead with a goal at the 16:37 mark of the middle frame. Kyle Rhodes (4) then scored his first goal as a K-Wing and tied the game at the 14:04 mark of the third. Kalamazoo was backstopped with a great performance in net by Evan Cormier (9-18-3-0). Cormier made 36 saves on 39 shots to get the K-Wings to overtime and save the game in the extra period, pulling the puck off the goalline to set up Copeland's heroics.

Sunday, Mar. 26 - Kalamazoo 1, Indy 2 (Indiana Farmers Coliseum - Indianapolis, IN)

>> The Kalamazoo Wings (25-34-4-0) stood tall against the Indy Fuel (38-22-4-0), not allowing a goal over the first two periods, but ultimately fell on Sunday at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, 2-1. For the second consecutive game, the K-Wings and Fuel skated to a scoreless first period. Then, with Kalamazoo on a power play, David Keefer (2) scored to take the 1-0 lead. Pavel Cajan (6-6-0-0) made things difficult for Indy throughout the contest, stopping 35 of 37 shots including all 24 attempts by the Fuel through the first two periods. Cajan also made multiple highlight reel saves to keep Kalamazoo in the contest. But, in the third, Indy netted the game-tying goal at the 6:43 mark, while skating with an extra attacker on for a delayed penalty call. The Fuel then scored the game-winner at the 9:30 mark on a five-on-three power play opportunity.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Friday, Mar. 31 - Fort Wayne at Kalamazoo, 7:00 p.m. EDT - Wings Event Center (Kalamazoo, MI)

Saturday, Apr. 1 - Iowa at Kalamazoo, 7:00 p.m. EDT - Wings Event Center (Kalamazoo, MI)

Sunday, Apr. 2 - Kalamazoo at Indy, 5:00 p.m. EDT - Indiana Farmers Coliseum (Indianapolis, IN)

ON THE MOVE

Mar. 21 - Forward Drake Pilon was signed to a standard player contract by Kalamazoo

Mar. 21 - Forward David Keefer was signed to a standard player contract by Kalamazoo

Mar. 21 - Forward Darby Llewellyn was released by Kalamazoo

Mar. 21 - Forward Leif Mattson was released by Kalamazoo

Mar. 23 - Defenseman Conner Fedorek was signed to a standard player contract by Kalamazoo

FAST FACTS

- Forward David Keefer scored his first professional goal in Saturday's win at Indy, then scored another goal on Sunday at Indy

- Forward Ben Copeland recorded his first professional multi-goal game in Saturday's victory at Indy, scoring the first goal of the game and the game-winner in overtime

- Defenseman Robert Calisti recorded his first point as a K-Wing with an assist in Friday's win at Wheeling, then earned two more assists in Saturday's victory over Indy

TEAM TRENDS

- 11-0-1-0 when scoring 4+ goals

- 14-10-4-0 in one-goal games

- 10-2-3-0 when tied after the 2nd Period

STATISTICAL LEADERS

POINTS: 35 - Brandon Saigeon

GOALS: 16 - Justin Taylor

ASSISTS: 25 - Brandon Saigeon

PLUS/MINUS: +12 - Robert Calisti

PIMS: 95 - Justin Murray

PP GOALS: 6 - Justin Taylor

PP ASSISTS: 12 - Justin Murray

SH GOALS: 2 - Raymond Brice, Justin Taylor

GW GOALS: 3 - Raymond Brice

SHOTS: 172 - Justin Taylor

WINS: 10 - Hunter Vorva

GAA: 2.58 - Hunter Vorva

SAVE %: .918 - Hunter Vorva

* Currently with Cleveland (AHL)

** Currently with Columbus (NHL)

SPECIAL TEAMS

POWER PLAY: Last Week - 2/8 (25.0%%)

This Season - 35/217 (16.1%) - No. 23 in the ECHL

PENALTY KILL: Last Week - 10/11 (90.9%)

This Season - 171/221 (77.4%) - No. 21 in the ECHL


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