Kalamazoo, MI- Led by a 4-for-7 power-play effort and two goals from Justin Taylor, the Kalamazoo Wings defeated the Reading Royals 5-4 and in the process took a commanding three games to none lead in their best-of seven Eastern Conference Semifinal series.
Despite outshooting the Royals 18-7 in the opening period, the K-Wings ended the first period deadlocked at 1-1. Kalamazoo jumped ahead 1-0 midway through the stanza with a goal from Trent Daavettila (4th). Missing game two with the flu, Daavettila showed no signs of illness, extending his playoff point streak to six games.
After the goal, Reading’s starting goaltender; Ben Scrivens would leave the game with an injury. In 9:49 seconds between the pipes, Scrivens stopped 12 of the 13 shots he faced. Replacing Scrivens was Matt Dalton, who finished the period stopping all five shots he faced.
Reading pulled even with less than two minutes remaining in the period with a power-play goal from Yannick Riendeau (3rd). After earning no shots on their first man-advantage of the contest, Reading peppered Ryan Nie for five shots, including Riendeau’s tally, on their second power-play opportunity. Assisting on the tally was Olivier Labelle, who extended his assist and point streaks to five games.
Special teams, namely the power-play propelled the K-Wings in the second period. Kory Karlander (4th) struck 1:02 into the middle period with a power-play marker to regain a 2-1 lead for Kalamazoo.
The Royals pulled even 42 seconds later with Riendeau’s second of the night. Keeping momentum on their side, Reading earned their first lead of the series with a tally from Andrew Sarauer (3rd) 3:05 into the period.
Less than two minutes later, it was the K-Wings turn to respond with a power-play equalizer from Taylor (6th), who extended his goal streak to five games with the tally.
Later in the period, Taylor would score his second of the game and his league-leading seventh of the postseason with a man-advantage goal midway through the period.
Kalamazoo finished the period going 3-for-5 on the power-play, while Reading went 0-for-2.
Giving the K-Wings their largest lead of the night at two goals, Sam Ftorek (1st) rung up the eventual game-winning marker 15:35 into the third period on the power-play.
With under a minute remaining in regulation and with an extra skater, Ryan Cruthers (5th) capped off a three-point (1 goal, 2 assists) night with a man-advantage marker.
Ryan Nie (6-1) stopped 19 shots to earn the victory, while Dalton (3-3) earned the loss in relief saving 28 shots.
The two teams combined for six power-play goals and the Royals ended the night 2-for-5 with a man-advantage.
For Game Stats: http://echl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=8746.
The K-Wings will return home this Friday, April 22nd with a 7:30 p.m. face-off in game four of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinals versus the Royals.
Catch all the K-Wings games, home and away, on the K-Wings Radio Network (95.9 FM WLKM & on kwings.com). Join the “Voice of the K-Wings” Mike Modugno for all 72 regular season games plus the playoffs. Pre-game coverage begins with the Kalsee Credit Union Pre-Game Show 15 minutes prior to face-off. For the most complete coverage of the K-Wings from the opening face-off to the final buzzer and the Discover Kalamazoo Post-Game Show, keep your radio tuned this season to the K-Wings Radio Network.
Single game tickets for the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs and 2011-12 Season Tickets are on are on sale at the Wings Stadium Ticket Office, Ticketmaster Outlets, including www.ticketmaster.com, Ticket Office hours are Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, please call Wings Stadium Ticket Office during regular business hours at (269) 345-5101.
Tickets for all K-Wings second round playoff home games are on sale now and range in price from $12.90-$17.90 for adults and only $9.90 for kids ages 12 and under.
Fans can save money by purchasing K-Wings single game tickets advance because on the day of a game, K-Wings tickets are $1 more.
For more information about tonight’s game, please contact Mike Modugno, director of public relations and broadcaster at (269) 349-9772, extension 220.