Kalamazoo, MI – Erasing a two-goal deficit, the Kalamazoo Wings rallied with four unanswered goals Sunday afternoon to defeat the Fort Wayne Komets and in the process move back into first place in the Eastern Conference.
Taking advantage of their first power-play of the match, Dustin Cloutier (7th) extended his point streak to four games by earning his 100th career point 1:59 into the period.
Fort Wayne’s special teams replied with the next two goals. Tying the game on their first power-play of the game, Mike Embach posted his team-leading and tying 26th goal of the season 6:27 into the period.
Scott Fleming (15th) put the Komets ahead midway in the period with a shorthanded tally. The goal was just the third shorthander allowed by the K-Wings; however, the second surrendered this season to the Komets.
Nearing the end of the period, former K-Wing Aaron Clarke added to the Komets lead with notching his 20th goal of the campaign.
Cutting the deficit in half with the lone goal of the second period was Cloutier (8th). Finding space in the right circle, Cloutier lit the lamp with a slap shot with 40 seconds remaining in the stanza.
The K-Wings went on a scoring terror, playing fast and physical after the second period Ludwig Blomstrand found the back of the net on two consecutive scoring plays. Matt Caria hooked up with Blomstrand 8:32 into the third stanza and recorded his 11th goal of the season. Caria extended his season-high home point streak to a league-best 18 games. In a tied match, Blomstrand (12th) ripped in his second goal of the day by shooting a wrister from the blue line recording the eventual game-winner.
Justin Taylor got involved in the scoring as David Pacan sent a one-timer pass his way that Taylor sunk for his 19th goal of the season. Taylor extended his home game point streak to 15 games and Pacan pushed his overall point streak to five games.
The victory was particularly sweet for Colin, an 11-year old boy from Richland with disabilities whose secret Facebook page went viral last month. Last Tuesday, Colin signed a one-game contract with the K-Wings for today’s game.
Earlier in the afternoon the K-Wings Alumni took on the Komets Alumni in a matinee battle. The K-Wings got off to a hot start and a 2-0 lead when Mark Lawrence and Tim Turner each scored in the 1st period.
The Komets fought back with a pair of goals from Kelly Miller to tie the score 2-2 in the final ten minutes.
K-Wings head coach Nick Bootland put Kalamazoo back in the driver’s seat with his breakaway goal assisted by Kory Karlander. However, Fort Wayne would tie the game up 3-3 with a shot from the point by Brian McKee.
A shootout was needed to decide the winner. The Komets prevailed in the extra session when Miller finished off his big day with the game-winner, providing 4-3 victory for the Komets Alumni.