Komets Hand K-Wings First Home Loss in Regulation
KALAMAZOO, MI - An early two-goal deficit was too much for the Kalamazoo Wings (4-2-1-0) to crawl out of Friday in a 6-2 loss to the Fort Wayne Komets (6-4-1-0) at Wings Event Center.
Fort Wayne set the tone early when Chase Stewart saw a point shot sail into the top of the net less than three minutes into the game. The Komets added a power play marker on their second of three opportunities in the period, when Mason Bergh snapped a shot past goaltender Jake Hildebrand.
Kalamazoo found an early second period spark, when Dylan Sadowy snuck a wraparound into the net 48 seconds into the frame. The goal extended Sadowy's ECHL-best goal streak to six games and made it 2-1 at the time.
The Komets wrestled the momentum back when A.J. Jenks deflected a shot into the net for their second power play goal of the game. Jenks then benefited from a bad Kalamazoo bounce for another goal less than two minutes later, bringing the score to 4-1. Late in the middle period, Brady Shaw snapped a shot through a screen into the top of the net to open the Komets lead to four goals by the second break.
The K-Wings pushed back in the third with a 14-2 shots advantage and another goal to show for it, but the hill was too steep to climb back from. Komets goaltender Matthew Villalta stopped 29 of 31 shots for the win.
Luke Sandler scored Kalamazoo's second goal after Matt Iacopelli carried the puck in and out of traffic the whole length of the ice. Iacopelli found Sandler cutting towards the net and Sandler buried the tap-in to make it 5-2 with 12:28 to play.
Jason Binkley added an empty-net goal with 3:17 remaining. Fort Wayne has handed Kalamazoo its only two regulation losses so far this season and took a 2-1 series lead with 11 meetings left between the two Central Division rivals.
The K-Wings and Komets face-off again Saturday at 7:00 p.m. on Military Appreciation Night, presented by Lagunitas. The first 1,000 fans will receive a K-Wings camouflaged hat. Stick around after the game for the postgame jersey auction of Kalamazoo's special military appreciation jerseys, benefiting Talons Out.
Kalamazoo finishes the busy weekend with a 3:00 p.m. Sunday affair against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Pirates and Princesses Night, featuring a postgame skate with the players. The first 1,000 kids under the age of 12 will receive either a K-Wing eye patch or tiara.
Kalamazoo Wings prorated season tickets, flexi plans and 3-Packs are on sale now! Visit kwings.com for more information.
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