KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Elmira Jackals picked up a standings point for the fifth game in a row but couldn't extend their winning streak as Kalamazoo netted a 3-2 shootout win at Wings Stadium on Wednesday night. Elmira's record stands at 16-22-5 heading into the weekend at Evansville.
Click here for tonight's box score.
Elmira won each of the first two games of its five-game road trip through the North Division in come-from-behind fashion, and found itself with the same opportunity on Wednesday night. Kalamazoo registered the first five shots of the game and the fifth one broke open the scoring. Sam Ftorek sent a shot from the right point that eluded Elmira goalie Scott Greenham who made his first start for Elmira since January 20. The Jackals' first scoring chance of the game just missed when Jordan Pietrus rang the post on a two-on-one with Rob Bellamy, but their first shot on goal proved fruitful. Daniel Koger fed a cross-ice pass to Dane Walters, who played his collegiate hockey at Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, and he slipped a wrist shot through the pads of goalie Jordan Binnington to tie the game. The flurry of scoring came in the span of 1:20, but Binnington and Greenham shut the doors the rest of the period.
Jackals defenseman, and New Jersey Devils prospect, Harry Young spent much of his ECHL time in his first two years as a pro with Kalamazoo. He notched three goals over 55 games in a Wings uniform, but it was his second as a Jackal that gave Elmira the lead early in the second period. After a faceoff win by Dane Walters, Young blasted a low slap shot past Binnington for his second goal in as many games. The rest of the period was a penalty-filled affair as the Jackals and Wings combined to put 26 minutes of penalty time on the scoresheet. Elmira ended up with the lion's share of the advantages (4), including just over 50 seconds of a 5-on-3 but found itself unable to extend its lead before the period ended.
Both the Jackals and Wings played a more disciplined game in the third period with only one penalty called between the clubs. The call went against the Jackals, though, and put Kalamazoo on a power play for the fourth time. Their most reliable source of power play scoring, Ftorek, punched home a slap shot from the top of the right wing circle to tie the game with 4:49 gone by. The Jackals were unable to provide a response and reclaim their one-goal lead so the game headed to overtime.
In the extra session Jakub Culek had a breakaway chance to end it in the final minute but Binnington made a lunging blocker save to send things to a shootout. In the breakaway competition the Wings got goals in the top of the first and second from Justin Taylor and David Pacan, respectively. Binnington stopped Elmira's first two shooters but Culek and Ludwig Karlsson scored successively to tie it at two each heading to the fifth round. Chris Lawrence scored on Greenham and Binnington made a lunging glove save on Jordan Pietrus to set the final.
Greenham was 32-for-34 on save opportunities through overtime and 2-for-5 in the shootout. Elmira ended the game 0-for-7 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals return to home ice on Wednesday, February 12 to take on the Reading Royals. It's a Willowcreek Wednesday where some lucky fans will compete at first intermission to win free golf from Willowcreek Golf Club. Don't forget that groups of 10 or more who book in advance receive discounts off the box office price and preferred seating based on availability. Call 607-734-7825 to get your group outing booked.