In a game full of offense, the Toledo Walleye outlasted the Kalamazoo Wings 5-4 to win the 4th Annual McDonald’s Golden Ice Game, presented by McDonald’s and WNWN.
In the first period, it took only five shots between the two teams for them to score two goals apiece. Andrei Nestrasil got the scoring started just 1:27 into the contest with a rebound tally, his third of the season.
Just twenty-five seconds and one shot later, Toledo opened up a two goal lead. Joey Martin scored his team leading 12th of the season on a quick wrister that beat Kalamazoo goalie, Riley Gill. The goals for the Walleye were the quickest back-to-back tallies surrendered by the K-Wings this season.
Kalamazoo, however, handled the two goal deficit with relative ease. Darryl Bootland (9th) pulled the game to within one at the 6:22 mark on the K-Wings first shot of the game.
Just under two and a half minutes later, and working with their first power play of the game, the K-Wings scored on their second shot of the game, which also came off the stick of Bootland for his third power play marker of the season and his tenth overall.
Carrying momentum over into the second period, Darren Archibald (5th) put the K-Wings ahead 3-2 with a wrister 30 seconds into the period.
It only took 45 more ticks of the clock for Kalamazoo to establish a two-goal lead. John Kivisto took a shot from the point that was re-directed by Bryan Haczyk in front of the net for his 10th goal of the season.
Following the goal, Toledo pulled Rob Nolan in favor for Dustin Carlson.
Toledo wouldn’t be phased by the two-goal lead for the K-Wings, as Kyle Rogers brought the game to within a goal with his tenth of the season at 3:32.
Trailing by one with eight minutes remaining in the second, Toledo would knot the game up at four apiece. Adam Escolet walked over the blue line and beat Gill with a wrist shot over his glove for the sixth goal of the season for Escolet.
Joey Ryan (2nd) put the Walleye ahead for good scoring on a slap shot midway through the period.
In a relief role, Carlson earned the victory stopping seven shots.
Kalamazoo will finish their home-and-home series with Toledo, as well as start a three-game road swing tomorrow, Sunday, January 15th with a 4 p.m. encounter at the Huntington Center.
The K-Wings will return to Wings Stadium on Friday, January 27th with a 7:30 p.m. face-off versus the Cincinnati Cyclones on Culver’s Night and Frugal Fan Friday, featuring $1 Beers, $1 Pepsi and $1 Hot Dogs.
Tickets for all K-Wings home games are $12.90 and $16.90 for adults and only $6.90 for kids ages 12 and under. The price for all K-Wings premium night games (all colored ice games and New Year’s Eve game) are just $1 more. Fans can save money by purchasing K-Wings single game tickets in advance because tickets purchased on the day of a game increase by $1.
Submitted by Mike Modugno