The Kalamazoo Wings wrapped the their four-game road swing in grand fashion by becoming the first team in 2012 to defeat the Gwinnett Gladiators (12-0-0-1) at The Arena at Gwinnett Center with a 4-3 shootout victory Sunday night.
Striking quickly, Kalamazoo took the lead 1:58 into the contest on a backhander from Eric Kattelus (4th).
Former Western Michigan Bronco, Pat Galivan (20th) pulled Gwinnett even midway in the stanza, one-timing a cross-rink feed from Nikita Kashirsky.
Just as they did in the first, Kalamazoo registered a goal early in the second period. After a Nick Sirota slap shot hit the post, Darryl Bootland picked up the pieces by knocking in the equalizer 3:58 into the period.
The goal, which was Bootland’s 20th of the season, ties the forward with Justin Taylor for the team-lead in that category.
Taking full advantage of a power-play opportunity, Andy Brandt (11th) tied the game at 2-2, scoring on rebound 8:57 into the period.
Nikita Kashirsky (10th) put the Gladiators up 3-2 late in the period with a breakaway marker; however, the lead would only last for 58 seconds, as Sirota (9th) scored on a right-circle slap shot to even the game at 3-3 with 1:34 remaining in the period.
Neither team scored in either the third period or the five-minute overtime, which forced a shootout.
In the extra session, Kalamazoo received goals from Taylor Ellington, Taylor and Sirota to outduel Gwinnett 3-2 to secure the victory.
The K-Wings will return home on Tuesday, February 14th with a 7 p.m. face-off versus the Cincinnati Cyclones during the 12th Annual Pink Ice Game, presented by WKFR and WWMT.
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