KALAMAZOO, Mich. (Kalamazoo Wings) – Long before ten combined goals were scored Wednesday at Wings Event Center, resulting in the Kalamazoo Wings (2-1-0-0) beating the Fort Wayne Komets (2-2-0-0), 6-4, veteran forward Justin Taylor made history just by stepping foot on the ice.
Taylor set the K-Wings’ franchise record by playing in his 496th career game for the team, passing Kevin Schamehorn. For good measure, the tenth-year pro added a power play goal to put Kalamazoo ahead 2-1 in the first period, confirmed by video review.
Fort Wayne struck first when Brady Shaw tapped in a loose puck in the crease near the midway point of the opening period, but Kalamazoo answered just over two minutes later when Kyle Blaney won a face-off clean back to Dylan Sadowy, who fired a quick wrist shot from the top of the circle. Blaney, who was activated from injured reserve earlier Wednesday notched three assists in his season debut.
Sadowy ended up with his second straight two-goal game, which included his second straight game-winner. Early in the third period with the K-Wings up 4-3, Tanner Sorenson through a shot from the corner off of Komets goaltender Stephen Dhillon and Sadowy knocked home the rebound.
Sorenson also finished with a pair of goals in addition to that assist on the game-winning goal. With the K-Wings leading 3-2 in the second period following a goal from Luke Sandler, Sorenson caught a pass in the high slot and fired a shot past Dhillon to give Kalamazoo its first two goal cushion of the night. He added an empty-net goal with 30 seconds remaining in regulation to seal the victory.
The Komets forced a 2-2 tie at the end of the first period thanks to a late goal from Mason Bergh on a 2-on-1, and again closed the game to 4-3 late in the middle frame when Brad Morrison capitalized at the end of a net-mouth scramble. Fort Wayne’s power play was held off the board on its first three chances, but Matthew Boudens chipped in a rebound 7:13 into the third period to narrow Kalamazoo’s lead to 5-4 at the time.
The K-Wings power play went 2-for-2, giving them four straight successful power plays dating back to the waning moments of Saturday’s comeback 4-3 win over Cincinnati.
Jake Hildebrand won his second straight start, stopping 33 of 37 shots.
The K-Wings welcome the Tulsa Oilers to Wings Event Center for the annual Orange Ice Game Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Fans are welcome to dress in their favorite Halloween costumes and can take part in the costume contest during the game. Kalamazoo will wear special Halloween themed jerseys which will be auctioned off following the game, with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society.