Toledo Walleye 4 at Kalamazoo Wings 6
Toledo leads series 2-1
F Brian Hart, KAL, 1-0-1, E, 0 PIMS, 4 SOG, *SECOND STAR*
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 1-0-1, -2, 0 PIMS, 9 SOG
Season Totals (ECHL): 33 GP, 6-5-11, -7, 6 PIMs, 71 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 33 GP, 3-4-7, E, 26 PIMs, 50 SOG
F Cameron Darcy, KAL, 0-3-3, +2, 0 PIMS, 7 SOG
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 1-4-5, E, 2 PIMS, 13 SOG
Season Totals (ECHL): 20 GP, 5-20-25, +11, 10 PIMs, 51 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 34 GP, 3-4-7, -3, 14 PIMs, 40 SOG
G Nic Riopel, KAL, W, 60:00 MINS, 17/21
Playoff Totals: 2 GP, 1-1-0-0, 4.02 GAA, 0.814 SV%
Season Totals (ECHL): 32 GP, 18-12-0-1, 3.13 GAA, 0.899 SV%, 1 SO
Bolt prospect forwards Brian Hart and Cameron Darcy both featured prominently in a huge K-Wings Game 3 victory Tuesday night back at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo. The K-Wings peppered Walleye netminder with 52 shots, while the Kalamazoo defense held the high-powered Toledo offense to just 21 shots. Hart scored the game winner with less than 3 minutes left in regulation, while Darcy assisted on all three of Peter Schneider's goals, including the empty netter with 22 seconds remaining to seal the four-goal 3rd period K-Wing flurry and a 6-4 win in front of nearly 1,200 hometown fans. Hart's game winner earned him Second Star honors. Both Darcy and Schneider logged a team-high 7 shots each.
Despite 20 first period Kalamazoo shots, the first frame ended knotted at 1-1 as Justin Taylor finally solved Peterson with less than 90 seconds remaining in the period. The period ended with a Kalamazoo penalty and the Walleye took a 2-1 lead on the power play just 50 seconds into the second period. Kalamazoo tied the game 5 minutes later with a power-play goal of their own started by Darcy and ending with Schneider's first of the night. Later in the period, former Cruncher Evan Rankin tallied his 4th goal of the series for the Walleye, giving the Division champs the 3-2 lead at the second intermission. Early in the third, Darcy went back to work with some nifty puck magic before feeding Schneider for his second goal and the 3-3 equalizer. Both teams traded goals before the period's midpoint, until Hart broke the 4-4 tie late in the period with a one-time blast from the slot past Peterson.
Another pivotal game awaits the K-Wings Wednesday night, as these teams battle again in Kalamazoo for Game 4. It will be interesting to see if the Walleye roll out backup Jeff Lerg in net after a three consecutive doses of Jake Peterson, and while neither K-Wing goalie has been a difference maker in the series thus far, Riopel is coming off the team's only series win.