ELMIRA, N.Y. - The Elmira Jackals outscored the Kalamazoo Wings 2-1 at even strength on Wednesday night at First Arena, but the Wings went 4-for-5 on the power play and tacked on a shorthanded goal for a 6-3 win. The loss moved the Jackals to 22-37-8 on the season.
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The Jackals continued their recent run of strong first periods as they outshot the Wings 11-8 and generated a number of quality scoring opportunities. Despite that the Wings turned a Jackals turnover into a shorthanded breakaway goal by Nick Sirota 4:27 into the contest. Elmira righted the ship, though, and scored a textbook hard-working goal to tie the score. Daniel Koger fed Zach McCullough at the right point and the rookie found an open shooting lane to get his low, hard wrist shot on net. Kalamazoo's Joel Martin stopped the first bid but Dane Walters potted the rebound with a backhander and tied the score with his ninth goal of the year at 12:53. Neil Conway started the game and stopped seven of eight in the first.
Kalamazoo went to work quickly in the second period to snare control of the contest. With carryover power play time from the first Nick Sirota pushed home his team-leading 24th goal 29 seconds into the frame. Yannick Veilleux followed that at 1:18 with an even-strength score then Sirota converted a power play at 3:13 to complete the Wings' blitz. That goal also chased Conway in favor of Tony Capobianco after allowing four goals on 13 shots. Despite finding themselves quickly down by three the Jackals regained composure and received a power play goal from a new face to claw within two. Ryan Rashid, who was making his pro debut out of Niagara, was set up for a power play goal by Walters and Colin Jacobs at 8:49. The Wings, though, didn't allow the Jackals' momentum to remain as David Pacan whipped a power play goal past Capobianco 1:20 after Rashid's goal.
Kalamazoo's lead ballooned to four 2:33 into the third when Joe Sova tacked on yet another power play score. Elmira's leading scorer Mike Vaskivuo returned fire with a wraparound goal 1:17 later to pull the Jackals back within three. Things got interesting for Elmira when, just past the midway point, it was awarded a 45-second 5-on-3 power play advantage. A howitzer of a slap shot by Vaskivuo was stopped by Martin on the ensuing faceoff and that proved to be the Jackals' best scoring opportunity on the advantage. They were unable to get any closer once play returned to 5-on-5.
Conway took the loss while Capobianco stopped 7 of 9 in relief. The Jackals ended the night 1-for-6 on the power play and 1-for-5 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals return to home ice on Friday, April 4 to take on the Orlando Solar Bears. Join us for the last Jackals trading card set giveaway. 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.