Wings Fall in Penalty Filled Affair
Toledo, OH.- In a game that featured seventeen power plays and 78 combined penalty minutes the Toledo Walleye topped the Wings 8-5 on Saturday night in Toledo. Kalamazoo ended the two-game preseason series with the Walleye, dropping both games of the home-and-home series.
Four K-Wings had multi-point nights and Eric Ylitalo led the way with a pair of goals. Reid Gardiner (1g, 1a), Kyle Thomas (2a) and Kyle Blaney (2a) all had multipoint nights for the Wings. Toledo had five players finish the night with multiple points, including Dan Leavens and Tyler Spezia who each notched three points. Kalamazoo finished the night 3-for-8 on the man-advantage, while Toledo was 4-for-10.
After Pat Nagle foiled a Chad McDonald breakaway in the first two minutes of play the Walleye struck first for the second straight night taking a 1-0 lead. A.J. Jenks broke into the zone and connected with Shane Berschbach cross-ice. Berschbach tapped the puck past Hildebrand, giving Toledo the 1-0 lead 3:17 into the period. Matt Register made it 2-0 shortly after, when his shot from the left wing deflected off a defenseman's stick and past Hildebrand. Kalamazoo answered back shortly after. Eric Ylitalo wristed a shot from the top of the right circle that found its way into the top corner cutting the lead to 2-1. With time winding down in the period the Walleye added to the lead after a puck deflected off the glove of the Kalamazoo defenseman and into the net.
In the second period Toledo retook a two-goal lead early in the period. Kevin Tansey's shot from the right point snuck past Hildebrand, giving Toledo a 4-1 lead. On the power play Toledo struck again to extend the lead to 5-1 just over four minutes into the middle stanza. Just over midway through the period Reid Gardiner capitalized on the man-advantage cutting the lead to 5-2. The power play struck again late in the period, this time on the two-man advantage. Eric Ylitalo, perched on the left dot, blasted a one-timer through the legs of Pat Nagle to bring the K-Wings back within two. Kalamazoo wasn't done scoring for the period though. With teams at four-on-four and less than a minute to play in the period, Kyle Blaney won an offensive zone draw back to Matt Joyaux. The rookie defenseman made quick work, snapping a shot past the Walleye netminder, drawing Kalamazoo within one, 5-4, as the second ended.
Just as they did in the first two periods, Toledo scored early in the third period. Skating in on a two-on-one, Tyler Spezia centered a pass that deflected off the defenseman's stick and through Keegan Asmundson's legs, to put the lead back to two goals. Playing three-on-three hockey a few minutes later, the Walleye added another tally off the stick of Bryan Moore moving the score to 7-4. Toledo tacked on another power play tally just past the midway point, making it 8-4. Special teams continued to be the theme of the night as Zach Diamantoni one-timed a pass from Kyle Thomas to the back of the net with just over seven minutes left to make it a three-goal game again.
Jake Hildebrand and Keegan Asmundson once again split time for the Wings in net. Hildebrand, who started the game, finished with 23 saves on 28 shots. Asmundson stopped seven of ten shots. Pat Nagle played the whole game for the Walleye, stopping 32 of 37 shots.
Kalamazoo Wings single game and season tickets are available now! More information can be gathered at www.kwings.com/seasontickets.
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