ELMIRA, NY – A roller coaster contest between the Kalamazoo Wings and Elmira Jackals ended on a high for the K-Wings. Kalamazoo forced overtime with five-tenths of a second remaining in regulation and went on to defeat Elmira 6-5 in a shootout.
Sam Ftorek powered the K-Wings assault in the first period. Finding room atop of the left circle, Ftorek (2nd) gave Kalamazoo the lead 9:56 into the opening period with a power-play tally. Assisting on the goal were Yanni Gourde and Jeremie Blain. The assist from Gourde extends the forward’s point streak to a K-Wings’ season-high four games.
Nearly four minutes later the same trio of players connected for the K-Wings second goal. In similar fashion, Gourde sent a cross rink feed to Ftorek (3rd) for his second-goal of the contest.
Cutting the deficit in half 15:43 into the period, Rob Bellamy found Danny Hobbs crashing the net for his third goal of the season.
Momentum switched in the second period and the Jackals took full advantage of the pendulum swing. Finding a loose puck to the left of the net while on the power-play Ludwig Karlsson (2nd) beat Jordan Binnington over the blocker midway in the stanza to tie the game at 2-2.
The Jackals grabbed the lead with six minutes remaining in the period when Mathieu Gagnon (1st) spun away from the defense and scored on a backhander.
Cashing in on an odd-man rush late in the period Eric Kattelus evened the game at 3-3 scoring his team-best seventh goal of the season. The goal increased Kattelus’ point streak to a season-high tying four games. Earning his third point on the goal was Gourde. Mike Matczak increased his point streak to three games with a secondary assist.
An impromptu bounce regained the lead for Kalamazoo early in the third period. Skating free in the high slot, Brett Ponich’s (1st) slap shot bounced off the cross bar and rolled down the back of Jackals goaltender Maxime Clermont.
Led by their leading goal scorer, Artem Demkov (9th), the Jackals tied the game at 4-4 with a rebound marker with less than three minutes remaining.
Elmira jumped back ahead in unconventional fashion with a shorthanded tally from Jakub Culek. Culek pounced on a rebound with 1:50 remaining to give the Jackals the slight advantage.
Capping off a four-point night (1 goal, 3 assists), Gourde (6th) forced overtime by sending in a one-timer with fifth-tenths of a second remaining.
In the shootout, the K-Wings out-dueled the Jackals 2-0 receiving goals from Justin Taylor and John Armstrong.