K-Wings closing in on division lead

The Kalamazoo Wings enjoyed a successful weekend in the south, winning all three games over the weekend to improve to 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, and move to within five points of the top spot in the North Division.


Kalamazoo opened the weekend with a 5-1 win at Greenville on Thursday. Justin Taylor scored a pair of goals while Mike Matczak added three assists. Jordan Binnington stopped 43 shots, and came within 44 seconds of posting a shutout. The K-Wings special teams also contributed to the win, scoring once on four power-play opportunities and killing off all eight of Greenville’s chances on the man advantage.


The K-Wings traveled to Gwinnett on Friday and skated away with a 4-3 shootout win. Four different Kalamazoo players scored during regulation, with Taylor (1g-1a) and David Pacan (2a) leading the way with two points each. Joel Martin made 33 saves in regulation and overtime, then stopped three of five Gladiators’ attempts in the shootout to record the win.


Kalamazoo’s southern swing ended with a 2-0 win at Greenville on Saturday. Two nights after just falling short of his first professional shutout, Binnington completed the deal turning aside all 36 shots he faced. Matt Caria and Yanni Gourde provided all the offense the K-Wings needed with a pair of goals in the final seven minutes of the third period.


Gourde leads the K-Wings, and is tied for eighth in the ECHL, with 23 points (10g-13a) in 18 games this season. Kattelus also ranks among the league leaders as his 20 points (7g-13a) have him tied for 12th in the league while his +14 rating is third best. Sam Ftorek, who earlier this season became just the third player in ECHL history to play in 700 career games, leads all league defensemen with four power-play goals and his seven power-play points are tied for the lead among defensemen.


The K-Wings, who are 5-1-0 in their last six road games, conclude their road trip on Tuesday at Cincinnati, before returning home for games against the Cyclones on Friday and Fort Wayne on Saturday.