EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE)
In the Evansville IceMen's highest scoring game of the season, a fluke bounce proved to be the difference. With the game tied at five, the puck ricocheted off the boards and Dane Fox into the net to help the Kalamazoo Wings pull off a 6-5 win.
As a result of the loss the IceMen remain at 22 points (9-18-2-2) just six points back of Wheeling for the final playoff spot in the North Division. Kalamazoo moves to two points back of the Nailers as the teams approach the midpoint of the ECHL season.
Evansville netted the first goal in a high scoring opening period. Matt Lowry fired in a shot from just inside the blue line to give the IceMen a 1-0 lead. Guy Lepine and Kevin Harvey picked up the assists on Lowry's fifth goal of the season.
The Wings responded with three consecutive goals. Ludwig Blomstrand, Curtis Valk, and Nathan Longpre scored to give the Wings a 3-1 lead. Longpre's goal came short handed.
With less than two minutes remaining in the first period, the IceMen answered. Kale Kerbashian won a face off and passed it to former Wing Colin Murray on a cross crease feed. Murray slammed in his fifth of the season to cut the Kalamazoo lead to one. Jarret Lukin earned an assist on the play that made it a 3-2 Kalamazoo lead going into the first intermission.
Less than a minute into the second period, Evansville tied it up. Kerbashian poked the puck free from the boards to Jim McKenzie who blasted a shot into the back of the net to it at three. Lukin added an assist to pick up his second point of the night.
Kalamazoo reclaimed the lead on a power play. Longpre scored his second of the game to put the Wings back up by one.
Evansville responded with a power play goal of its own. Brandon Wong deflected a Brandon Martell shot into the back of the net to tie at four. Wong took the team lead in goals with his 10th of the season.
Early in the third period, Sam Ftorek put in a shot from the high slot to put the Wings up 5-4. The goal was Ftorek's first of the year.
The IceMen would once again answer. Peter Sakaris charged to the front of the net with a shot. Scott Munroe stopped Sakaris's attempt, but Martell knocked in the rebound to tie the game at five. Lowry got a helper one the play and received second star of the night honors with his multipoint effort.
Late in the third period, Kalamazoo took the lead for good. Matt Caria sent a shot towards the net that went wide and bounced off boards. The puck came to the front of the net where Dane Fox tucked the odd bounce past Chris Driedger to seal a 6-5 win for the Wings.
Evansville will make a trip through the Central Division when they visit Missouri on Friday night and Wichita on Saturday and Sunday. Fans can watch all three games at Bar Louie, the Official Watch Party Destination of the Evansville IceMen. Friday and Saturday's games will begin at 7:05 with Sunday's game starting at 5:05 p.m.
The IceMen will return to home ice when they host the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday Jan. 17. Evansville will try to use the force to defeat the dark side (Cincinnati) at the IceMen's annual Star Wars night.
Single game tickets are on sale now for all games including Star Wars Night at the Ford Center Box Office Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m and after noon on game days.