Trailing entering the third period, the Kalamazoo Wings scored three times, including twice on the power-play defeat the Wheeling Nailers 4-2 and in the process even up the Best-of-Five Eastern Conference Quarterfinal match-up at a game apiece.
In what seemed a like a carbon copy of the first period in game one, either team had many scoring chances in the first period.
Wheeling’s best opportunity happened 9:34 into the period on a missed penalty shot opportunity from Chris Barton.
Feeding off the momentum of Riley Gill’s save minutes later, Kalamazoo jumped ahead with a goal from Kory Karlander (1st). With the puck the left the Nailers net, Karlander took three whacks at the free puck to slide the puck around the leg pad of Patrick Killeen.
Tying the game at 1-1 early in the second period, Phillip Samuelsson (1st) used a screen in the front of the K-Wings net to beat Gill over his left shoulder 1:05 into the stanza.
The hero of game one, Andrew Hotham (2nd) put the Nailers in front 15:14 into the middle frame with a left circle wrister that was setup from a behind the net pass from Paul Crowder, who assists was his second in the game.
Mike Matczak (1st) recorded the equalizer early in the third period with a power-play strike that went over the shoulder of Killeen.
Taking the lead for good midway in the period, Trent Daavettila found Dwight Helminen (1st) in the high-slot for the eventual game-winner.
Tacking on some insurance at the 14:02 mark of the third, Sam Ftorek (1st) scored from the point with a power-play blast.
The K-Wings, who finished the game 2-for-3 on the power-play, are now 3-for-6 with a man-advantage during the playoffs.
Gill (1-1) was stellar between the pipes stopping 29 shots for the victory, while Killeen(1-1) had 21 saves in defeat.
The K-Wings will return home to Wings Stadium on Friday, April 6th at 7:30 p.m. versus the Nailers in game three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. During all first round games, the K-Wings are offering special Fan Appreciation 25-cent hot dogs.
Tickets for the K-Wings round one playoff games are $16.05 and $19.95 for adults, $15.05 for seniors (62 years and older) and military (with proper ID) and only $10.05 for kids ages 12 and under. 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