Third Period Propels Wings to Weekend Sweep
Ft. Wayne, IN - A five-goal outburst in the third period helped the K-Wings complete the weekend sweep of the Komets, topping Ft. Wayne 5-3 on Saturday night.
Kalamazoo (2-1-0-0) had five players record multiple points in the victory. Justin Taylor led the way with a pair of goals for the K-Wings, while Ben Betker led all skaters with three points (1g, 2a). Reid Gardiner, Brendan Bradley, and Kyle Thomas all notched two assists.
The first twenty minutes saw each team remain scoreless as Jake Hildebrand and Zach Fucale started a goaltenders matchup stopping the first 14 shots they faced. In the middle frame it was the Komets that struck first. Aidan Muir got the home side on the board squeezing a shot past Hildebrand just over two minutes into the period. Muir's goal was the only one through the first forty minutes of play, setting the stage for a crazy third period.
After one goal through the first two periods, Kalamazoo and Ft. Wayne busted through to combine for seven goals in the third period. The K-Wings offense got the scoring started right off the puck drop. Less than a minute into the final period Kyle Bushee broke the ice for the visitors. With traffic in front, Bushee took a slap shot from the point that beat Fucale to the near side, evening the score at 1-1. Not much time would pass before the K-Wings would take their first lead of the night. Taking advantage of a two-on-one, Brendan Bradley fed a back door pass to Ben Betker who tapped the puck into a nearly empty cage, putting Kalamazoo up 2-1 just 0:37 into the period.
The next goals belonged to the Komets as Ft. Wayne stormed back to retake the lead at 3-2, scoring twice in 0:42 seconds. The 3-2 Komets lead held up until the 15:00 mark of the third period when Jimmy Mullin brought the K-Wings even once again. With a flurry of pressure on the net Ben Betker sent a shot wide of the cage that took a Kalamazoo hop right to the tape of Mullin. The forward one-timed it past Fucale, knotting the game at 3-3. About three minutes later the K-Wings offense jumped right back into action. Justin Taylor walked down from the top of the left circle, winding up a slap shot letting it go from the dot. The shot beat the Komet netminder to the five-hole, giving Kalamazoo the lead for good. With the goalie pulled, Taylor would add another goal capping off the scoring at 5-3.
Jake Hildebrand, collecting his second consecutive victory, made 25 saves on 28 shots for Kalamazoo, while Fucale stopped 21 of 25, taking the loss.
Kalamazoo is back in action on Friday night in Cincinnati for the first of two games against the Cyclones. The teams flip to Kalamazoo on Saturday, Oct. 27 for Orange Ice and Nickelodeon Night.
Kalamazoo Wings single game and season tickets are available now! More information can be gathered at www.kwings.com/seasontickets.
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