The Toledo Walleye took the first half of a home-and-home series over the Kalamazoo Wings defeating the K-Wings 4-3 Friday Night on PNC Night at Wings Stadium.

Trying to kill a penalty, the Walleye jumped ahead when Todd Griffith (7th) registered a shorthanded tally on a breakaway 2:20 into the contest.

Storming back five minutes later, Darryl Bootland pulled the K-Wings even with his 15th goal of the season.

Playing in his first game since January 13th, a span of eight games, Sam Ftorek (9th) gave Kalamazoo their first lead of the night, 25 seconds later, on a slap shot that grazed off the glove of Toledo goaltender Dustin Carlson.

Special teams not only led to the Walleye’s first goal, it helped with their second. Mike Thomas earned his first goal of the season late in the first period scoring the equalizer on Toledo’s first power-play of the night.

The league’s top power-play unit regained the lead for Kalamazoo 46 seconds into the second period, when Bootland (16th) deflected a Trent Daavettila slap shot for his second goal of the night. With the marker, Bootland has scored eight of his 16 goals against the Walleye.

Staying resilient, David Gilbert (3rd) evened the game for Toledo at 3-3 scoring the equalizer after Kyle Page’s wrist shot bounced off the glass and over the net to Gilbert’s stick.

Gilbert placed the Walleye ahead in the third period, striking for his second goal of the night 3:47 into the stanza.

Capping off a four-point (1 goal, 3 assist) performance, Paul Zanette (4th) on an odd-man rush roofed a wrister over Maxime Clermont midway in the period.

Trying to mount a comeback, Ftorek (10th) notched his second tally of the night on a power-play.

Kalamazoo finished the night 2-for-3 on the power-play, while Toledo went 1-for-6.

Kalamazoo will commence a four-game road swing tomorrow, Saturday, February 4th with a 7 p.m. encounter against the Toledo Walleye.

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

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