Peter Schneider netted the hat trick and the Kalamazoo Wings had a season high 53 shots on goal in route to a 6-4 Game Three win in their best-of-seven playoff series with the Toledo Walleye.
The Walleye lead the series 2-1.
Feeling like a game of ping-pong, the two teams exchanged goals throughout the first two periods.
Kyle Bonis put the Walleye on the board early in the first period with his third of the postseason for a 1-0 lead. Answering back with a goal of their own later in the period, Justin Taylor was able to redirect a shot by Eric Kattelus into the net to knot the game at one goal apiece.
Wasting little time in the second, Bonis struck again just 49 seconds into the period to regain a one goal lead for the Walleye. The goal by Bonis was scored on the power play.
Returning the favor several minutes later, Peter Schneider scored a power play goal for the K-Wings to tie the game at 2-2. Kattelus again provided the helper on the goal as Schneider scored his second of the playoffs.
Evan Rankin scored later in the period to give the Walleye a 3-2 lead.
Trailing by a 3-2 score entering the third period, the K-Wings kept the pressure up as they not only tied the score, but took their first lead of the game in a span of 45 seconds.
Cameron Darcy battled his way down the ice while controlling the puck along the wall and passed it to Schneider, who was in front of the net and pushed it past Jake Paterson to tie the game at 3-3.
Just 45 seconds later, the K-Wings took their first lead of the night as Blake Kessel scored his first of the postseason. Two minutes later, Dane Walters scored for the Walleye to make it a 4-4 game.
With under three minutes to go in regulation, the K-Wings kept the pressure on the Walleye. A well-timed steal in their own zone set up a one-timer by Brian Hart. The blast caught Paterson out of position, giving Kalamazoo a 5-4 lead with time winding down.
Toledo pulled Paterson for an extra attacker late in the third period, but a blocked shot by a Kalamazoo skater led to an odd-man attack where Cam Darcy found Schneider for the empty net tally that capped off Schneider’s hat trick and the K-Wings’ victory.
The two teams face-off tonight at Wings Event Center with the game starting at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.
K-Wings News and Notes: Toledo leads the best-of-seven series 2-1… Peter Schneider’s hat trick was his second of the year…Kalamazoo set a season high with 53 shots on goal… Every skater for Kalamazoo registered at least one shot on goal… Cam Darcy, Eric Kattelus, and Schneider each had three points…Schneider has points in 17 straight games dating back to March 5.
By: Mark C. McGlothlen