|February 25, 2013 - Mike Modugno
Director of Public Relations and Broadcaster
Last Week’s Record: 3-1-0-0 Overall Record: 28-23-4-1
Monday, February 18th @ Cincinnati Cyclones (Kalamazoo 4-Cincinnati 1)
Cincinnati, OH – Starting the game two players short and losing Sam Ftorek with an injury in the second period, the Kalamazoo Wings (26-22-4-1) showed the gumption of a playoff contender by defeating the Cincinnati Cyclones (31-17-4-3) Monday afternoon at the U.S. Bank Arena.
The depleted lineup didn’t slow up the K-Wings in the first period, as Kalamazoo jumped ahead 16:24 into the period with a left-point blast from Ftorek (9th).
Pushing their lead to 2-0 just 42 seconds later, Joe Charlebois found Jeff Pierce (2nd) behind the Cyclones defense for the breakaway tally.
Momentum stayed with Kalamazoo into the second period, as Tyler Shelast notched his fifth goal of the season just 26 seconds in the stanza. Assisting on Shelast’s goal where Aaron Clarke and Charlebois. With the point, Clarke extended his point streak to four games.
The Cyclones pressured the K-Wings for the remainder of the period. Cincinnati outshot Kalamazoo 21-5 in the period and had the period’s best scoring chances with a five-on-three power-play midway in the frame.
As he has all season along, Joel Martin was stellar between the pipes, as the netminder turned away all 21 shots in the period, which included three breakaways and five more from pointblank range. Martin would finish the game with 40 saves to earn his league-best 24th victory of the season.
Cincinnati broke through onto the scoring ledger 1:56 into the third period with a rebound marker from Taylor Ellington (7th); however, Cyclones could keep the sustained pressure on the K-Wings, who regained their three-goal cushion midway in the period with goal from Brett Lysak (16th).
The line of Lysak (1goal, 1assist), Clarke (2 assists) and Shelast (1 goal, 2 assists) finished the game with a combined seven points.
The victory by Kalamazoo ended Cincinnati’s five-game winning streak.
Thursday, February 21st @ Reading Royals (Reading 3-Kalamazoo 1)
Reading, PA – For the second-time this season, the Kalamazoo Wings (26-23-4-1) brought a lengthy win streak into the Sovereign Center and for the second-time the Reading Royals (35-14-3-3) end the streak, this time a three-game winning streak, as the Royals defeated the K-Wings 3-1 Thursday night at the Sovereign Center.
Outscored 4-1 in the previous two first periods against Reading, Kalamazoo kept the Royals off the scoreboard in the opening 20 periods. Kalamazoo, who was also held scoreless in the first period, was outshot 10-6 in the period. The Royals went 0-for-2 on the power-play in the stanza, while the K-Wings went through the first 20 minutes without a man-advantage.
Breaking the gridlock midway in the second period, Mitch Versteeg (4th) gave the K-Wings a 1-0 lead 13:52 into the stanza with the wrist shot from the right circle. Aaron Clarke extended his point streak to five-games with an assist on the goal.
Answering back late in the period, Nikita Kashirsky (9th) evened the game at 1-1 scoring the equalizer from the right circle with 1:44 remaining in the period.
Kashirsky helped give the Royals the lead early in the third period, as his shot hit the post and flew back to the stick of David Vallorani (12th) for the go-ahead tally 3:20 into the period.
Capping off his game-high three-point night, Kashirsky tacked on his second goal of the night with a rebound marker 15:08 into the period.
The loss was the third (0-3-0-0) for Kalamazoo against Reading this season. Thursday night was the final regular season encounter between the teams.
Saturday, February 23rd @ Elmira Jackals (Kalamazoo 2 -Elmira 1-In a Shootout)
Elmira, NY – In the ECHL Galaxy, no star has shined brighter this season than that of goaltender Joel Martin and on Saturday night led by 45 saves, Martin propelled the Kalamazoo Wings (27-23-4-1) to a 2-1 shootout victory over the Elmira Jackals (29-20-3-2) at the First Arena.
A physical opening period that had the feel of playoff hockey featured no scoring. The playoff atmosphere continued into the second period; however, the score wouldn’t remain the same.
With a mass of players scrambling for a rebound, the puck rolled to the tape of Tyler Shelast, who lifted in his sixth goal of the season 5:35 into the second period to give the K-Wings the 1-0 lead. Assisting the goal for Kalamazoo were Mitch Versteeg and Brett Lysak.
Battling back with just 4:13 remaining in regulation, Jordan Southhorn (8th) tied the game at 1-1 scoring off of a face-off with a blue line slap shot to force overtime.
Elmira, who outshot Kalamazoo 5-0 in the extra session, earned four of those shots on an overtime power-play, but couldn’t get the game-winner past Martin.
Shooting first, Nick Sirota earned the lone goal in the shootout for the K-Wings, while Martin denied all five Jackal shooters to secure his 25th victory of the season.
Martin (2-1-0-0) has made 129 saves in three games against Elmira this season.
Sunday, February 24th @ Elmira Jackals (Kalamazoo 3-Elmira 2-In Overtime)
Elmira, NY – For the second straight night, the Kalamazoo Wings (28-23-4-1) and the Elmira Jackals (29-20-3-3) needed more than 60 minutes to handle their differences and for the second consecutive night, it was the K-Wings that left the First Arena with a victory. Kalamazoo received a highlight reel winner from Nick Sirota (18th) 3:01 into overtime to secure the 3-2 win.
Elmira took an early 1-0 advantage, 6:36 into the game, with a left circle blast from Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel (2nd).
Paul Kirtland (2nd) tied the game for the K-Wings later in the first when he dove towards the crease and poked a Wesley Myron rebound across the goal line with 2:50 remaining in the period.
Taking the lead 16:07 into the second period, Aaron Clarke notched his 17th goal of the season with a wrister from the left circle.
Kalamazoo’s lead held until late into the third period. Seconds away from a regulation victory, the K-Wings celebration was halted with one-tenth of a second remaining, when Jordan Pietras (15th) jammed in a fourth chance rebound to force overtime.
The first real opportunity to close out the game occurred 2:08 in the extra session when the K-Wings were awarded a penalty shot. Sirota’s ensuing chance flew over the glove hand and wide of Maxime Clermont.
Less than a minute later, Sirota wouldn’t squander another scoring chance, as he notched his team-leading 18th goal of the season.
Joe Cannata (3-3-0-0) made 37 saves for the victory. The start by Cannata marked the first time since November 22nd that any goaltender other than Joel Martin has started for the K-Wings.
The K-Wings will begin a three-game week this Friday, March 1st with a 7:30 p.m. face-off versus the Cincinnati Cyclones at Wings Stadium. March 1st will be a FANomenal Friday featuring $2 beer and $2 hot dogs as well as Vegas Night.
Kalamazoo and Cincinnati will meet again on Saturday, March 2nd in the second half of the home-and-home series with a 7:35 encounter at the U.S. Bank Arena. On the season, the K-Wings are 3-2-0-0 against the Cyclones, who start the week in first place in the North Division.
The K-Wings will finish the week with a 2 p.m. encounter at the WesBanco Arena against the Wheeling Nailers. Sunday will be the K-Wings first of three meetings against the Nailers, who start the week in third place in the Atlantic Division.
Team Leaders: Kalamazoo Wings
Goals: Nick Sirota (18 Goals)
Assists: Aaron Clarke (29 Assists)
Points: Aaron Clarke (46 Points)
+/-: Brett Lysak (+10)
Penalty Minutes: Nick Sirota (57 Minutes)
Power Play Goals: Sam Ftorek (6 Goals)
Short Handed Goals: Nick Sirota (2 Goals)
Game Winning Goals: Aaron Clarke (5 GW)
Shots: Sam Ftorek (144 Shots)
Shooting Percentage: Wesley Myron (18.2%)
Overtime Goals: Yann Sauve (3 Goals)
Shootout Goals: Kory Karlander, Eric Kattelus, Nick Sirota (2 Goals)
Shootout Percentage: John Armstrong, Michael Davies, Sam Ftorek (100%)
Goals Against Average: Joel Martin (2.62)
Save Percentage: Joel Martin (0.924)
Sunday’s game in Elmira was a special one for K-Wings equipment manager Eric Bechtol. The game was Bechtol’s 1,300th career game as an equipment manager.
Forward John Armstrong begins the week on an impressive point streak. Armstrong enters the week on a seven-game point and assist streak.
Well Deserved Day Off
Sunday’s start for goaltender Joe Cannata snapped Joel Martin’s 39 consecutive-game start for the K-Wings. Prior to Sunday, the last time Martin didn’t appear in a game was November 22nd against Fort Wayne.
Kalamazoo ends the month of February with a record of 9-3-0-0. The nine victories are the most wins in a single month by the K-Wings this season.
The Obscure Stat of the Week
After going 3-8-2-1 in their first 14 games on the road this season, Kalamazoo has become a much better team on the road. The K-Wings, who are 15-11-3-1 in road games, have gone 11-3-1-0 in their last 15 games away from Wings Stadium dating back to December 29th.
Join special guests Head Coach Nick Bootland and the “Voice of the K-Wings” Mike Modugno on Monday, March 11th for the next edition of “K-Wings Live”. The show is on WZUU (92.5 FM) and online through www.kwings.com from 6-7 p.m. at Old Burdick’s Wings West.
K-Wings on Radio
Catch all the K-Wings games, home and away, on the K-Wings Radio Network (92.5 FM WZUU & on kwings.com). Join the “Voice of the K-Wings” Mike Modugno for all 72 regular season games plus the playoffs. Pre-game coverage begins with the Kalsee Credit Union Pre-Game Show 20 minutes prior to face-off. For the most complete coverage of the K-Wings from the opening face-off to the final buzzer, keep your radio tuned this season to the K-Wings Radio Network.
Friday, March 1st Vs Cincinnati 7:30 PM (Vegas Night and FANomenal Friday)
Saturday, March 2nd @ Cincinnati 7:30 PM|
Sunday, March 3rd @ Wheeling 2:00 PM
Friday, March 8th Vs Evansville 7:30 PM (WRKR Martinis and Bikinis Night, FANomenal Friday)
Saturday, March 9th Vs Toledo 7:30 PM (Tahiti Sweetie Night and see the stars of Hardcore Pawn)
Sunday, March 10th Vs Florida 3:00 PM (Faith Night and Family Hockey Day in the ‘Zoo, presented by Bronson Orthopedic & Sports Medicine, Consumers Credit Union, Meijer, Charter Media and MLive)