TOLEDO, Ohio – For the second straight night, the Kalamazoo Wings needed an overtime effort to knock off the Toledo Walleye, this time with a 4-3 victory Saturday night at the Huntington Center.
Striking quickly after a K-Wings turnover, Willie Coetzee, who was reassigned in the late afternoon by the Detroit Red Wings from the Grand Rapids Griffins, made the most of this return to the Walleye by scoring his 19th goal of the season 2:03 into the contest.
Killing a penalty in the second period, Nick Sirota used a great individual effort to the split the defense and slip the puck past Jordan Pearce on the backhander 17:10 into the period to tie the game at 1-1. The goal from Sirota was his team-leading 17th of the season and his team-leading second shorthanded tally.
Beating the clock to regain the lead to end of the second, Travis Novak (9th) knocked in a Joey Martin rebound with seven-tenths of a second remaining in the period to regain a one goal advantage for Toledo.
Carrying momentum into the third period, Coetzee (20th) gave the Walleye a two-goal cushion with his second goal of the night 26 seconds into the stanza.
Anchored by a pair of power-play goals the K-Wings started to mount a comeback 7:22 into the period with a strike from Wesley Myron (2nd). The goal from Myron extended the rookies point streak to three games.
Less than two minutes later, Sam Ftorek (8th) recorded the equalizer with the slap shot from the point. Ftorek, who leads the team in power-play goals, has scored six of his eight goals this season with a man-advantage.
Completing the comeback 20 seconds into the extra session, Myron found Yann Sauve (4th) for the game-winner. Three of Sauve’s four goals this season have come in overtime. The assist by Myron capped off a three-point (1 goal, 2 assists) night for the forward.
Joel Martin (23-19-4-1) recorded 43 saves for his league-best 23rd victory of season.
Kalamazoo will continue a five-game road swing with the second-leg of the trip on Monday, February 8th with a 2 p.m. encounter at the U.S. Bank Arena against the Cincinnati Cyclones.
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