FORT WAYNE, IN — The Kalamazoo Wings and Fort Wayne Komets played a sixty minute defensive chess match during their ninth and final meeting of the season, and the Komets squeaked out a 1-0 win at home on Friday night.
The first period of the third straight contest between the two clubs was a carbon copy of the first two matchups. Both teams came out with a physical style of play, and it was Fort Wayne who controlled most of the offensive tempo and possession. Nick Riopel was solid in net, but the Komets’ pressure finally broke the scoreless draw with 25 seconds left in the first. Mike Embach deflected a long shot off the tape of Cody Sol for his 14th of the season and sent the Komets into the dressing room with a one-goal edge.
The second period was similar to the first, as the defense and goaltending were the dominating forces. Riopel had eleven second-period saves, and his counterpart, Pat Nagle, stopped all six shots he faced. There were, however, two separate goals called off during the frame, with each team being a victim of a revoked tally.
As the one-goal game progressed into the third, Kalamazoo boosted their offensive efforts and outshot the Komets by more than double in the final 20 minutes. As time began to tick down, the chances increased and Nagle withstood the barrage. The Wings couldn’t produce an equalizer in the closing minutes with an extra attacker, and the Komets earned the 1-0 win at home.
Next: Kalamazoo @ Wheeling Nailers- Saturday, February 18, 7:05 p.m., WesBanco Arena.
Broadcast information: Saturday’s game will air on AM 1660 The Fan in Kalamazoo or online at www.1660thefan.com/listen-live.
Notes: Fort Wayne won the season series, 5-4… The loss was Riopel’s first in his last five starts… Kalamazoo have been shut out five times on the season twice in their last two road games… Josh Pitt left the game in the second period with an injury and didn’t return…Kalamazoo’s power play went 0/6 and the penalty kill went 3/3.
Single-game tickets are on sale! Tickets start as low as $10 and can be purchased at www.kwings.com/tickets/schedule or at the Wings Event Center box office.
Wings Event Center, owned and operated by Greenleaf Hospitality Group, is home to the minor league hockey team Kalamazoo Wings and a full entertainment venue offering concerts, sporting events, family shows and trade shows. Built in 1974, Wings Event Center values partnerships with the community to bring events and attractions that enrich the lives of residents in the Kalamazoo area.