K-Wings make move up Central Division standings

The Kalamazoo Wings picked up wins in all three of their games last week, improving to 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and moving to within two points of Quad City for fourth place in the Central Division. Kalamazoo is 19-18-4 overall on the season for 42 points.

Kalamazoo opened its post All-Star Break schedule on Friday with a 2-1 win at Brampton. Tyler Biggs and Kyle Blaney provided the K-Wings’ offense while Joel Martin picked up the win in goal, turning aside 33 of the 34 Beast shots he faced, including all 17 shots in the third period.

The K-Wings returned home on Saturday and posted a 6-3 win over Fort Wayne. Six different players tallied goals in the victory with Josh Pitt (1g-2a) and Eric Kattelus (3a) leading the way with three points each while Blake Kessel (1g-1a) and Justin Taylor (1g-1a) had multi-point games as well. Nick Riopel returned from a recall to Syracuse of the American Hockey League and made 23 shots in his first appearance in over a month.

Kalamazoo ended the week with a 5-4 victory over Toledo on Sunday. The K-Wings raced out to a 5-0 lead through two periods with Taylor scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist. The Walleye scored four times in the final period, but Martin shut the door over the final 2:44 to preserve the win.

Taylor leads the K-Wings this season with 19 goals and 35 points while Lane Scheidl ranks second on the club with 14 goals and 27 points. Tanner Sorenson, who represented Kalamazoo in last week’s ECHL All-Star Classic, is tied for the league lead with six game-winning goals.

Martin, who ranks fifth among goaltenders in ECHL history with 334 games played and 171 wins, is second in the league this season with 1,621 minutes played and third with 799 saves. He is just two wins shy of tying Jason Saal for fourth on the all-time wins list.

Kalamazoo continues its five-game home stand this week, hosting Brampton on Friday and Wheeling on Sunday.