KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Despite a 40-save night from Max Milosek and goals from Brady Tomlak and Keeghan Howdeshell, the Toledo Walleye fell to the Kalamazoo Wings on the road Friday night, 4-2, at the Wings Event Center.
Kalamazoo scored three times in the final four minutes, including an empty netter in the final minute, to overcome Max Milosek’s exceptional play in net for the Walleye. Milosek saved a season-high 40 shots for the Fish, including multiple big saves in the second period. The Walleye move to 20-8-2 through 30 games this season and have lost their last two road contests.
The Walleye got on the board first after 15 minutes of scoreless action. The Toledo goal came off the stick of Brady Tomlak at the 15:12 mark with assists from Brandon Schultz and Ryan Lowney. Tomlak has seven goals on the season.
Each team had a power play opportunity during the first period. Toledo’s Adam Parsells received a delay of game penalty at 11:04, and Kalamazoo’s Michael Davies was called for tripping with 17:33 gone. Neither team scored with the man advantage, going 0-for-1 on the power play during the frame.
Despite a 17-9 Kalamazoo shot advantage in the period, the Fish ended the first period with the lead. By the end of the second period, the score was even after each team took ten shots and Kalamazoo scored once. Max Humitz scored the Kalamazoo goal with 10:06 gone to even the score at one goal each. Kyle Blaney and Giovanni Vallati recorded the assists.
Max Milosek got plenty of action during the middle frame, making two big saves in the latter half of the period to keep the Wings out of the net. He faced a combined 27 shots in the first two periods compared to 34 total in his Walleye debut at Fort Wayne on Jan. 8.
Neither team recorded a penalty in the second period, and the Walleye and Wings headed into the final frame looking to break their 1-1 stalemate at Wings Event Center. Keeghan Howdeshell provided the tiebreaker just 1:56 into the third to give the Fish the 2-1 lead. Brandon Schultz earned his second assist of the game on the goal, and Adam Parsells provided the other helper.
Brady Tomlak entered the penalty box with 3:53 gone for hooking, giving the Wings their second and final power play of the game. The Walleye earned the penalty kill and looked to maintain their lead as the period played out.
Things looked promising for the Walleye as they prevented Kalamazoo from scoring for most of the period, but the Wings scored three unanswered goals in the last four minutes of the game to secure the comeback win at home. Justin Murray tied the game at 16:15 before Jake Slaker netted the game-winner 1:13 later. The Walleye tried to force overtime by emptying their net with 1:29 to go, but Tanner Sorenson hit the empty net with 50 seconds to play to give the K-Wings the 4-2 win.
The Wings had 44 shots on goal to Toledo’s 29, outshooting the Walleye, 17-9 and 17-10, in the first and third period, respectively. The Wings had two power play opportunities while the Walleye had one, and neither team converted with the man advantage.
Trevor Gorsuch made 27 saves on 29 shots to earn the win for Kalamazoo. Max Milosek took the loss despite making 40 saves for the Walleye on 43 shots faced.
The Walleye continue their three-game weekend slate with their lone home game tomorrow night against the Fort Wayne Komets. Puck drop from the Huntington Center is set for 7:15 p.m.
- Kalamazoo – Jake Slaker (game-winning goal)
- Kalamazoo – Justin Murray (game-tying goal)
- Kalamazoo – Max Humitz (goal, assist)