A solid effort in the first period, the Kalamazoo Wings squandered a three-goal lead and lost to Chicago Express 4-3 Friday night at Wings Stadium.

A first period filled with plenty of hits and penalties led to three power-play goals for the K-Wings.

Kory Karlander (13th) got things started for Kalamazoo with a snap shot in the slot past Chicago goaltender Peter Mannino. Darryl Bootland found the streaking Karlander on the extended 5-on-3 power play to give the K-Wings the 1-0 lead. The goal extended Karlander’s point streak to five games.

On the same power play, Nick Sirota (11th) extended Kalamazoo’s lead with a hard-fought rebound goal right in front of the net. Darren Archibald along with Karlander recorded assists on the second K-Wings goal.

The first period power play success was not done yet. With less than 30 seconds remaining in the opening frame, the K-Wings cashed in on their 3rd power play goal of the period when Taylor Ellington (7th) found the back of the net. Bootland and Trent Daavettila each registered their 2nd assist of the period, on the goal.

Responding in the second period, the Express rolled for three goals of their own. Down on a knee in front of the K-Wings net, Pierre-Luc Faubert (16th) lifted a backhander past Maxime Clermont.

Stealing the puck at the K-Wings blue line moments later, Jonathan Zion (2nd) skated in and blasted a slap shot from between the circles.

Scott Wietecha (11th) brought Chicago even with less than three minutes remaining in the second period with a power-play tally. Wietecha blasted one from the point that beat Clermont to the near post.

Finishing the comeback in the third period, Zion (3rd) earned his second-goal of the night, this time on the power-play.

Kalamazoo finished the night 3-for-6 on the power-play, while Chicago went 2-for-5.

Kalamazoo will head on the road tomorrow, Saturday, February 25th for a 7:35 p.m. encounter against the Cincinnati Cyclones at the U.S. Bank Arena.

The K-Wings will return home to Wings Stadium on Sunday, February 26th with a 4 p.m. face-off versus the Wheeling Nailers on a Family Hockey in the ‘ZOO, featuring every kid’s favorite adventurer, Dora the Explorer, presented by Meijer, Pepsi, Charter and the Kalamazoo Gazette.

The first 500 kids will receive a FREE K-Wings Dry-Erase Goalie Mask, presented by Pepsi and all fans can skate with the team after the game (skate rental is $3).

Sunday will also be the K-Wings annual Faith Night, which will feature two concerts, from Christian recording artist, Please Promise at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Both shows will feature speaker, Pastor Taylor Downs Russell, Minister of Youth & Young Adults at Second Reformed Church, with the theme of “The Ultimate Goal”.  During the 2 p.m. show, K-Wings defenseman Sam Ftorek will give a testimonial.

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

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