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Wings this week: April 2 - April 8, 2012

by Tyson Giuriato / Vancouver Canucks

Kalamazoo Wings Week in Review: April 2 - April 8, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wheeling Nailers 4 vs. Kalamazoo Wings 2 – Game 1 of Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals

Wheeling leads best of 5 series 1-0

The Kalamazoo Wings opened up their Best-of-5, Eastern Conference Quarter-Final Tuesday night in Wheeling, West Virginia, against the Wheeling Nailers. Although this was a match up of the 3rd seed (Wings) against the 6th seed (Nailers), only one point separated the two teams in the regular season as the two clubs finished with 84, and 83 points, respectively. The road team won all three meetings during the regular season, with the Wings winning both games in Wheeling to take the season series 2-1. The two teams also met in last year's Eastern Conference Finals, with the Wings taking the series in 6, before eventually losing in 5 games in the ECHL to the Alaska Aces.

After a scoreless first period, Nailers forward Paul Crowder was sent off for hooking early in the second, and the Wings were able to capitalize on the power play as Darryl Bootland opened the scoring to give Kalamazoo the lead. Crowder would get his revenge however, with the Wing’s Harry Young off for a delay of game penalty, Crowder found the back of the net to tie things up at one midway through the second period. The Wings were able to regain the lead 1:16 into the third on a goal by Nick Sirota, but just over seven minutes later the Nailers knotted things up at two on a goal by Chris Barton.

With the score tied at two late in the third period, Wheeling forward Ben Farrer was able to beat Wings goaltender Riley Gill with 1:07 remaining to put the Nailers up 3-2. Soon after his go ahead goal, Farrer was called for tripping with 30 seconds left in the game, and with the goalie pulled, the Wings found themselves with a two man advantage. Unfortunately it was the Nailers that scored, an empty-netter from defenseman Andrew Hothman to seal the 4-2 Wheeling win over Kalamazoo. Gill was solid in net for the Wings stopping 35 of 38 shots faced, while Nailers goaltender Patrick Kileen made 25 saves in the victory.


-Canucks prospect Darren Arcibald led the Wings with five shots
-Canucks prospect Steven Anthony did not play with an undisclosed injury

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kalamazoo Wings 4 @ Wheeling Nailers 2 – Game 2 of Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals
Best of 5 series tied 1-1

Game 2 on Wednesday saw the Wings jump out to a 1-0 lead 13:33 into the opening frame on a goal by forward Kory Karlander. Things didn’t go the Wings way in the middle stanza as Wheeling quickly tied the game just over a minute into the period, as defenseman Philip Samuelsson was able to find the back of the net. Just over 14 minutes later Andrew Hothman netted his second of the series to give Wheeling a 2-1 lead after two periods. Nailers’ net minder Patrick Killeen was called for interference early in the third and the Wings potent power play needed just 26 seconds to even up the score, as Mike Matczak was able to beat Killeen for his first of the post season. Just over five minutes after the tying goal, Kalamazoo forward Dwight Helminen gave the Wings the lead firing the puck past Killeen. The Wings would add another power play marker, this time from defenseman Sam Ftorek to seal the 4-2 victory, evening the series up at one, in game 2. Wings goaltender Riley Gill stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faces, and Killeen made 21 saves in the loss.


-Canucks prospect Darren Archibald finished with two shots and was a plus-1
-Canucks prospect Prab Rai registered three shots on goal
-Canucks prospect Steven Anthony did not play due to an undisclosed injury

Friday, April 6, 2012

Kalamazoo Wings 5 VS Wheeling Nailers 1 – Game 3 of Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals
Wings lead series 2-1

The series shifted back to Kalamazoo for the remainder of the series, starting with Game 3 Friday night. The Wings were able to take a 1-0 lead into the second period thanks to defenseman Elgin Reid’s 1st of the playoffs 13:25 into the first. Dustin Cloutier was able to get his stick on a point shot and deflect it into the net early in the second period to put the Wings up 2-0. Wheeling would cut into the lead just over 2 minutes later as Chris Barton was able to beat Wings net minder Riley Gill for his 2nd of the series and cut the lead to 2-1. Later in the period Nick Sirota scored his 2nd of the post season with four seconds left on a Wings Power Play to reinstall the Wings two goal lead. A Wings player was then called for covering the puck in the crease with his hand, which gave the Nailers a penalty shot. Andrew Hotham took the shot for Wheeling, but was denied by goaltender Riley Gill. A little over four minutes into the third, Kalamazoo’s Darryl Bootland gave the Wings some insurance, scoring his 2nd of the playoffs, and giving them a 4-1 lead. Under two minutes later Cloutier would add his 2nd of the game to put things out of reach for the Nailers, as the Wings took Game 3 by a 5-1 final. Gill made 37 saves for the Wings, who took a 2-1 lead in the series.


-Canucks prospect Darren Archibald finished with two shots on goal
-Canucks prospect Prab Rai did not play due to an undisclosed injury
-Canucks prospect Steven Anthony did not play due to an undisclosed injury

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Kalamazoo Wings 3 VS Wheeling Nailers 2 – Game 4 of Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals
Wings win series 3-1, advance to round 2

The Wings were able to jump out to a 2-0 lead just over thirteen minutes into the game on goals from Justin Taylor and Kory Kalander. Wheeling would cut into the Wings lead late on a first when Chris Barton notched his third of the series. Kalamazoo would restore their two goal lead mid way through the middle frame when Dwight Helminen was able to beat Nailers net minder Patrick Killeen for his second of the post season. Wheeling would give it everything they had in the third period, getting it back within one when Barton notched his second of the game, and fourth of the series to make it 3-2 just 2:57 into the period. Wings goalie Riley Gill would shut the door after that, stopping 13 of the 14 shots he faced in the final period, en route to a 26 save performance helping the Wings advance to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.


-Canucks prospect Darren Archibald registered one assist and one shot on goal
-Canucks prospect Prab Rai did not play due to an undisclosed injury
-Canucks prospect Steven Anthony did not play due to an undisclosed injury

What’s Next…

The Wings will open up Round 2 at home, on Friday, against the South Carolina Stingrays. The two teams split the four game season series, each winning both games on the road. The Stingrays are coming off a hard fought four game series against Gwinnett, which included a quadruple overtime victory in Game 3, and a double overtime victory in the series clinching fourth game.

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