Vorva Stymies Heartlanders in Wings Victory
CORALVILLE, IA – It was a night for Hunters in Coralville, but it was not deer season. Instead, Hunter Vorva squared off against Hunter Jones with the former stopping 30 shots to lead the Kalamazoo Wings to a 4-1 victory over the Iowa Heartlanders. Four different players scored goals for Kalamazoo. Zach White had the lone tally for the Heartlanders.
Kalamazoo took the lead 10:10 into the contest when Marc Gatcomb netted his first tally of the year, scoring on a beautiful tic-tac-toe play. Max Humitz passed the puck to Chad Nychuk who made a beautiful one touch, backhand pass across the slot to Gatcomb. Gatcomb buried the one-timer to make it 1-0.
It was just a one goal Wings advantage heading in the first intermission, but Raymond Brice extended the lead to two 1:16 into the second period. Seconds after Vorva made a great save on a point-blank opportunity, Kalamazoo used their forecheck to create a turnover inside the Iowa zone. Justin Taylor passed the puck to Brice in the slot, who blasted home a one-timer over the shoulder of Jones for his seventh of the year.
Kalamazoo held the two-goal advantage through the second intermission, and remained on top by two goals for the first 11 minutes of the final frame. White finally helped Iowa get on the board, scoring 11:31 into the third. T.J. Fergus lifted a wrist shot from the point that White redirected over the shoulder of Vorva to cut the deficit in half.
Iowa was back in the contest, but Humitz restored the two-goal advantage four minutes later, scoring on the power-play to make it 3-1. Nychuk moved the puck to Humitz, who was just above the left face-off circle. He then sent a blistering wrist shot over the glove of Jones for his sixth goal of the year.
Just before the 18-minute mark, Justin Murray scored his first goal of the year, netting the second power-play tally of the night for the Wings. That made it 4-1, which would be the final.
Humitz finished with a goal and an assist and Nychuk had two assists for the Wings. Vorva stopped 30 shots, moving to 3-1-0. Jones stopped 27 shots, dropping to 1-4-5.
The Iowa Heartlanders (5-10-7) will host the Kalamazoo Wings (11-10-1) again on Saturday night. The puck drops at 7:05.
by Robert Pannier