Wings Score Two Short-Handed Goals to Down Iowa in OT
CORALVILLE, IA – Justin Taylor scored the second shorthanded goal of the game for the Kalamazoo Wings 2:07 into overtime to lead his team to a 3-2 victory over the Iowa Heartlanders. Iowa had battled back from a two-goal deficit, scoring two goals in the final 11:20 of the contest to force overtime. Nolan Orzeck had two assists for Iowa. Hunter Jones returned to stopped 31 shots. Evan Cormier earned the victory, stopping 34 shots.
This game was scoreless through the first frame, as both Jones and Cormier were outstanding. Kalamazoo outshot Iowa 13-8 in the first period, and continued to pour on in the second, outshooting the Heartlanders 15-12. That helped Kalamazoo jump out to a 2-0 lead.
The first goal came at 1:38 when Luke Morgan scored his sixth goal of the year. With Iowa on the power-play, Cormier made a save on a point-blank shot by James Sanchez. The rebound came out to Darby Llewellyn who led a 2-on-1 break into the Heartlanders zone. Just before he crossed the blueline, he fed the puck to Morgan, who moved in toward the right face-off circle before lifting a wrist shot that beat Jones over the glove for his fourth goal of the year.
Less than two minutes later, Matheson Iacopelli extended the lead to two. Iacopelli carried the puck out of his own end along the boards and into the Iowa zone. He was going to swoop behind the net, but decided to pass the puck out in front. It hit off the skate of a Heartlanders defenseman and in to make it 2-0.
Cormier had kept the Heartlanders off the scoreboard through the first 48 minutes of this contest, but Sanchez scored on the power-play 8:40 into the third to pull Iowa within one. Orzeck took a pass at the point, then dished it to Sanchez at the right face-off circle who blasted a one-timer that snuck through the five hole for his 10th goal of the year.
Kalamazoo looked like they would hang on, as they carried the one goal advantage into the final minute of play. However, Zach White tied the score with 36 seconds left in the game to force overtime. What Jones on the bench, Michael Pastujov passed the puck back to the point to Orzeck who blasted a one-timer that White tipped past Cormier to tie the score at two.
The Heartlanders had all the momentum, but Kalamazoo earned the victory when Taylor scored a shorthanded goal just past the two-minute mark of the extra session. Taylor blocked a shot inside his own zone, then battled through a Heartlanders defenseman to create a breakaway. He swooped across the net, lifting a backhander over the glove of Jones with the game-winner.
Despite losing in overtime, Iowa is now 3-1-2 in their last six games. That moved the club to 13-26-11 overall. The Heartlanders are off until Wednesday when they will take on the Kansas City Mavericks (22-21-6). The puck drops at 7:05.
by Robert Pannier