Led by cheers from students from 18 area schools, the Kalamazoo Wings defeated the Toledo Walleye 3-1 during the first of two Education Day games at Wings Stadium Wednesday afternoon.

Generating a majority of the shots in the opening period, the Walleye outshot the K-Wings 9-3 and earned the lone goal of the period on a backhander from Riley Emmerson (3rd) 9:19 into the contest.

A power-play chance early in the second period helped the K-Wings even the contest at 1-1, as Mike Matczak (10th) notched his team-tying (Justin Taylor) seventh power-play tally of the season with a slap shot from the point 4:59 into the stanza. The power-play strike also places Matczak atop all ECHL rookies in power-play goals and ties him for the lead in man-advantage markers by defensemen.

Taylor Ellington (6th) finished off a picture perfect give-and-go from Bryan Haczyk midway in the period to give the K-Wings their first lead of the afternoon.

Tacking on insurance late in the third period, Kory Karlander (12th) put the game out of reach scoring an empty-netter with just 1:19 left in regulation.

The crowd of 4,835 is the largest this season to see the K-Wing at Wings Stadium.

Schools that attended the first Education Day game, presented by Bronson Orthopedic Sports Medicine, Edison Electric, McDonald’s, Meijer and Rx Optical were Brandon Elementary, Indian Lake, Doris Klaussen, Bloomingdale/Pullman, Cassopolis, Delton Kellogg, Climax-Scotts, Southeastern Elementary, Lawton Elementary, St. Paul Lutheran, East Leroy Elementary, White Pigeon, Arbor Academy, Northwestern Middle, Mendon Elementary, Van Buren ISD, Watervliet Middle School and Woods Edge Learning Center.

The K-Wings will concluded a four-game home stand this Friday, February 24th versus the Chicago Express for a 7:30 p.m. face-off during a Frugal Fan Friday, featuring $1 Beer’s, $1 Hot Dogs and $1 Pepsi products, as well as Big Brothers/Big Sisters Night brought to you Schupan & Sons INC. Friday night is also a WIN-WIN night, presented by WNWN, if the K-Wings are victorious on February 24th, all fans in attendance will receive a FREE ticket to the K-Wings game on March 7th.

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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