Wings Jump out to Early Lead, Fall in Fort Wayne
FORT WAYNE, IN - Two goals bookended a strong first period for the Kalamazoo Wings (23-28-7-1), but three goals in a four-minute span in the middle frame sprung the Fort Wayne Komets (29-23-6-2) to an eventual 7-4 win Saturday at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
The K-Wings jumped ahead 2-0 early, scoring in the opening minute and closing minute of the first period. Tanner Sorenson buried the first goal 48 seconds into the game when he collected his own rebound and fired a shot past Dylan Ferguson from the slot. Kalamazoo killed off two penalties in the frame, thanks in part to the play of Jake Hildebrand, who stopped all 15 shots. Justin Taylor tipped a point shot from Ian Edmondson for the K-Wings second goal with 11 seconds remaining.
Brady Shaw started Fort Wayne's comeback with the first goal of an eventual hat trick just over seven minutes into the second period. Mason Bergh tied the game a minute and 20 seconds later, and Shaw put the Komets in front less than three minutes after that on a scramble in front of the K-Wings' net. In the blink of an eye, Fort Wayne gained the lead for the first time, but Kalamazoo answered before the end of the period. Garret Ross deflected a loose puck past Dylan Ferguson for a power play goal with 23.5 seconds left to force a 3-3 tie.
Shawn Szydlowski buried a chance on a 2-on-1 rush just six seconds into the third to spark a four-goal final frame for Fort Wayne. Shaw then completed his hat trick at 3:43, quickly putting the Komets up by a pair. Ross added his second power play goal of the game with 8:30 to play on a between-the-legs move from the edge of the crease to pull the K-Wings back to within one.
Shortly after Ross's goal, Fort Wayne received a power play and Alan Lyszczarczyk capped off a broken play by lifting a loose puck past Hildebrand to make it 6-4. The Komets finished the game with one more power play opportunity and Shawn St-Amant beat the buzzer with one last goal, wrapping up the two teams' 14-game season series.
Kalamazoo returns home Sunday afternoon to host the Toledo Walleye at 3:00 p.m. at Wings Event Center. The K-Wings' iconic mascot, Slappy, is inviting all of his mascot friends to the game for Mascot Madness, featuring a scrimmage on the ice during the intermission. Stick around afterwards for a postgame jersey auction and skate with the team on the ice.
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