Two of the hottest teams in the ECHL met tonight at Memorial Coliseum and the Kalamazoo Wings came out on top with a 4-1 victory over the Komets.
Kalamazoo is 8-1-1 in has won eight of its last 10 games, while the Komets are 6-3-1 in the same stretch.
Kalamazoo opened the scoring 3:04 into the first period when right wing Chris Lawrence sent a wrist shot from the top of the left circle into the top of the net. After the Wings were scoreless in their first 27 power plays against the Komets this season, it was their fourth goal in seven opportunities with the man-advantage.
The Wings had a goal waved off by referee Pierre Lambert midway through the first period because it was batted in by a high stick by center Justin Taylor.
Shortly after the Komets were stonewalled by goaltender Jordan Binnington on myriad chances from short range, Taylor atoned for his earlier gaffe by redirecting a Yannick Veilleux shot into the net for a 2-0 Kalamazoo lead at 11:50 of the second period.
The Komets solved Binnington at 13:43, though, at the end of an odd-man rush when defenseman Simon Danis-Pepin hit the right goalpost and then swatted his own rebound into the net.
The Komets weren't as fortunate on another odd-man rush at 18:40, when forward Brandon Marino had a shot crouched on by Binnington. Seconds after the ensuing faceoff, Kalamazoo forward Nick Sirota skated in one-on-one against Jordon Southorn, smacked the stick out of the defenseman's hands and then slipped a backhand shot underneath goalie Ben Meisner for a 3-1 lead.
The Komets are 2 of 36 on power plays this season against Kalamazoo, including four straight minutes of power-play time they got in the third period because Brett Ponich high-sticked Shawn Szydlowski in the face.
At 9:04, Fort Wayne's William Lacasse fought Veilleux, who finished the scoring with an empty-net goal.
A crowd of 6,293 attended the game at the Coliseum for the first of two "Pink the Rink" nights. The Komets donned special jerseys, which are being auctioned off to benefit the Vera Bradley Foundation and its fight against breast cancer. The Komets and Vera Bradley raised more than $30,000 in the first two years of their partnership.
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