ECHL Playoff Game Night: 4-23-17

Toledo Walleye 3 at Kalamazoo Wings 4
Series tied at 3-3

F Brian Hart, KAL, 1-0-1, -1, 0 PIMS, 4 SOG, *FIRST STAR*
Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 4-1-5, -3, 5 PIMS, 19 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, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIMS, 2 SOG
Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 3-7-10, +2, 2 PIMS, 19 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

Other Notables
G Nic Riopel, KAL, did not play (backup)
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 2-2-0-0, 4.01 GAA, 0.849 SV%
Season Totals (ECHL): 32 GP, 18-12-0-1, 3.13 GAA, 0.899 SV%, 1 SO

Every now and then, a team comes along that just doesn't quit. Doesn't know they're supposed to lose. A team that can get behind the eight-ball, but somehow not get rattled, stayed poised, and scrap their way right back in it. Those kinds of teams make you fall in love with them. Those teams somehow make you believe. This Kalamazoo K-Wings team is that kind of team.

Following the heartbreaker loss of Game 5, head coach Nick Bootland came back with Joel Martin in net for a win-or-go-home Game 6 at the Wings Event Center Sunday afternoon. It was Martin's first action since Game 2 in Toledo, and after the Walleye pasted two goals on the K-Wings in the first six minutes of the contest, Bootland's decision not to start Nick Riopel seemed questionable. However, give full marks to this scrappy team for not giving up. Starting at 4:29 left in the 1st, Kalamazoo reeled off 4 straight goals on Jake Paterson, winning Game 6 by a score of 4-3 and forcing a Game 7 on Tuesday night in Toledo.

Early in the 2nd period, Bolt prospect Cam Darcy stickhandled through the left circle and threaded a perfect feed to Lane Scheidl in front of the crease, taking a check to the chops in order to make the play. Scheidl, with his back to Paterson, made a nifty little backwards between the legs shot that caught the Walleye netminder off guard for the 2-2 equalizer. Later in the period, the puck squirted out from a goal mouth scrambled and into the slot, and Bolt prospect Brian Hart skated in and roofed a wrister for the first K-Wings lead of the contest. It was Hart's fourth goal of the series and earned him First Star honors for the game. Just before the end of the 2nd period, Josh Pitt added Kalamazoo's 4th goal of the game and what would be the eventual game winner. The 3rd period had the Walleye throwing everything at the K-Wings, scoring a 3rd marker to draw within one goal and running up a 13-6 shot differential. Tonight there was no heartbreaker -- just a bus ticket punched back to Ohio with one elusive road win away from the Central Division finals against Pat Nagle and the Fort Wayne Komets, who eliminated the Quad City Mallards Saturday night in 5 games.