K-Wings down 0-2 against Stingrays

Tanner Sorenson
Tanner Sorenson

KALAMAZOO – Kicking off their best-of-seven playoff series against the South Carolina Stingrays on home ice seemed like a win-win situation for the Kalamazoo Wings .
If they swept the Stingrays, the K-Wings would just need to win one game in their final four games in South Carolina to advance to the next round. Taking two at home wouldn’t have been so bad either.
After a 4-1 loss on Friday night and a 5-2 set back on Saturday night, the K-Wings are facing a must win in Game Three, tonight at Wings Event Center, or head to South Carolina with the Sting Rays holding a 3-0 advantage.
On Saturday night, the Stingrays owned the first period, outshoting the K-Wings 19-4 and taking a 1-0 lead.
“I felt that that in the first period, we were not prepared,” head coach Nick Bootland said following the game. “We didnt jam the puck, we played with our sticks in the air, we let them spin and attack, we let them work the back of the net and they were able to really take it to us. If you are not prepared to jam the puck and pay a price to win that puck battle and not allow them to spin off you and go to the net, it’s going to be a long night and our first period showed that. ”
Bootland did give kudos to his goaltender, Joel Martin, however. “We are fortunate that our goaltender that he kept us in the game at that point as we were getting outshot immesely. ”
The Stingrays scored two more goals in the second period before the K-Wings would find the back of the net courtesay of a Tanner Sorenson goal.
“We come out in the second period and there is a little more second effort on our part,” Bootland said. “Guys were digging in and (Justin) Kovacs keeps the puck alive and makes a nice pass to Sorenson and he buries it.”
The K-Wings added their second of the night just 1:06 later on a Sacha Guimond goal, making it a 3-2 game.
Those two goals were the only offense the K-Wings managed in the game. The Stingrays added a pair of goals in the third period to dash any hopes of a comeback for the K-Wings.
As the K-Wings face their final game of this series, and possibly the season, tonight, Bootland said that his team needs to get better as a group.
“Our goal right now it so focus on Monday and winning that game” Bootland said. “That’s our focus, that is all we can talk about and that is all we can believe in. We’re not looking big picture, we’re not looking past Monday night at this point. We have got to reevaluate, reassess, tweak and move forward and try to win that game.”
K-Wings News and Notes: Both teams went 0/4 with the man advantage. Martin made 29 saves on 34 shots, while Dekanich made 20 saves on 22 shots. Kalamazoo’s streak of eight straight games with the first goal came to an end. The Stingrays are unbeaten in regulation in their last 18 games.
Next Game: Kalamazoo vs. South Carolina, Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game three- Monday, April 18, 7:00 p.m., Wings Event Center

By: Mark C. McGlothlen

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