K-Wings, Express split weekend series

KALAMAZOO — The Kalamazoo Wings’ (33-22-2-5) lead in the North Division standings sits at six points following a weekend battle with their rival the Chicago Express (27-24-6-4).

The K-Wings won a hard-fought game against a rather undisciplined Express team on Friday night by a score of 5-2.

Matt Embach gave the Express a 1-0 lead midway into the opening period with a shorthanded tally, his 11th of the season.

The K-Wings would find their way to the scoreboard early and often in the second period, scoring three unanswered goals.

Mike Matczak started the scoring barrage notching his team-leading eighth power play goal of the year. Dwight Helminen scored his first goal as a K-Wing, a power play goal, a few minutes later for a 2-1 K-Wing advantage.

An Eric Kattelus slap shot increased the K-Wings lead to 3-1 later in the period.

Danick Paquette brought the Express to within one with a goal early in the third period, but the K-Wings’ Helminen and Steven Anthony scored goals to give the K-Wings a 5-2 lead and eventual win.

The K-Wings were called for 12 minutes of penalties in the game while the Express were whistled for 41 minutes. Express defenseman Nathan Lutz, who received a major penalty and a game misconduct for charging the goaltender, also received a fine from the league. Lutz’s teammate, Devin Didiomete, received a match penalty and an indefinite suspension by the league for attempting to deliberately injure an opponent, K-Wings forward Steven Anthony.

Getting their revenge on Saturday night, the Express defeated the K-Wings by a score of 2-0. The shutout loss was the first for the K-Wings since March 23, 2011. Unlike the night before, penalties were few and far between as the K-Wings were whistled for four minutes, while the Express were called for just one penalty in the game.

With 73 points, the K-Wings lead the second place Cincinnati Cyclones by six points and the third place Express by nine points. The Toledo Walleye trail by 15 points.

K-Wings News and Notes

Pack the house: The Kalamazoo Wings are hoping to pack the stadium this Wednesday night for their game against the Toledo Walleye. All tickets to the game are $6 or $7 the day of the game.

Upcoming games: In addition to Wednesday night’s game against the Walleye, the K-Wings will host the Trenton Titans on Friday night and the Walleye on Saturday night for the 31st Annual “World Famous” St. Patrick’s Day Green Ice Game. Both games begin at 7:30 p.m.

Genovy passes away: Al Genovy, who was the first-ever signing by the K-Wings organization back in 1974, passed away on Saturday morning from cancer. To honor Genovy, K-Wing players will wear his initials and uniform number (9) on their helmets for the remainder of the season. Genovy played for the K-Wings from 1974-78 and was assistant coach of the team from 1974-76.

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