Game 17: Elmira Jackals (4-10-2-0) vs. Kalamazoo Wings (6-10-0-2)
7:05 p.m., First Arena, Elmira, New York
The Jackals play the fifth game of their six-game homestand with the first of two straight games against the Kalamazoo Wings at First Arena. The games are the only two matches between the teams this season, after they met five times last season, with the Jackals winning three of the five.
The Wings are winless in their last five games (0-4-0-1) and have just one win in the last 10 games, falling to 6-10-0-2 on the season. The K-Wings are in a stretch in which they play 10 out of 11 games on the road. The one home game was the final game of a three-in-three in three different cities this past weekend. Kalamazoo travels to Manchester for two games Saturday and Sunday.
The Jackals have won back-to-back games for the first time this season, sweeping a pair of games with the Manchester Monarchs Saturday and Sunday, including a 2-1 overtime win to end a three-in-three weekend. After the Jackals and K-Wings finish their series Friday, the Jackals wrap up the week with an afternoon match in Brampton Sunday.
Purchase single game tickets by calling (607) 734-7825, visiting the Main Street Box Office at First Arena or online.
Jackals Pregame at 6:50 p.m. Radio: 1410 WELM
Last time out
Justin Kea scored 3:02 into overtime and the Jackals completed a weekend sweep of the Manchester Monarchs with a 2-1 win Sunday evening at First Arena.
The Monarchs sprinted out of the gates for a 1-0 lead four minutes into the game. Derek Arnold scored on a rebound at the left circle at 4:03 of the first to give the Monarchs the lead. It remained a 1-0 Manchester advantage deep into the third period, until the Jackals got their first power play of the game.
Sebastien Sylvestre fired a shot from the point and it grazed off of Kenton Miller and went in for a power-play goal with 1:39 to play in regulation. Then, in overtime, it was Kea who tapped in a centering pass from Steven Kaunisto to win it for the Jackals at 3:02. Jason Kasdorf was excellent in his second start for the Jackals, stopping 24 shots to earn his first professional win.
Saturday's 5-3 win over the Manchester Monarchs marked the first win by more than one goal for the Jackals this season. It was also just the second game all season the Jackals held a lead of at least two goals. The first was Nov. 6 in South Carolina, a 3-2 overtime loss for the Jackals.
Elmira's other three wins have all been one-goal games. The Jackals have played in six games decided by one goal and are 3-1-2-0. Tonight's opponent, Kalamazoo, is one of two teams (Wichita) without a win in one-goal games, posting a 0-2-0-2 record in four games.
Scouting the Wings
Kalamazoo enters the week on a five-game winless streak (0-4-0-1) and they have just one win over their last 10 games (1-8-0-1). With 14 points and a 6-10-0-2 record, the K-Wings find themselves in seventh in the Central Division, six points out of the division's final playoff spot. Wednesday marks the first game of a four game in five night stretch for the K-Wings, as they visit Manchester for back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday.
Kalamazoo is 25th in the ECHL, scoring 2.17 goals per game through its first 18 games. However, over the last four games, all regulation losses, the K-Wings defense has been the issue, allowing at least five goals in each game. Three players have reached the 10-point plateau for the Wings, led by Justin Taylor's 11 points (3g, 8a) in 18 games. Tyler Shattock (4g, 6a) and Dajon Mingo (1g, 9a) are next with 10 points apiece. Blake Kessel, acquired in a trade from the Atlanta Gladiators on Monday, had 23 points (7g, 16a) for the Glads and becomes the Wings' top scorer.
In goal, Nick Riopel and Joel Martin have split action and both goalies hold 3-5-0-1 records. In nine games, Riopel has a 2.86 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage, while Martin has a 3.10 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage in 10 games.
Tonight is the first of two matches between the Jackals and Wings in 2016-17. They'll wrap up the quick season series Friday at First Arena.
Last season, in five head-to-head matches, the Jackals beat the K-Wings three times to win the season series. The teams alternated wins and losses in each of the five matches.
Among returning players, Justin Taylor (2g, 2a) and Lane Scheidl (4a) were the leading scorers in the season series with four points. Joel Martin started four games against the Jackals and went 2-2-0, allowing 14 goals for a 3.53 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage.
The Wings power play ranks 21st in the ECHL, converting on 10-of-80 power plays this season, good for a 12.5% rate. On the road, the Wings are at 10.4%, 5-for-48, in 11 road matches. They've allowed three shorthanded goals. They have had the third-most power-play opportunities in the league, behind Missouri (85) and Allen (81).
The Jackals power play went 1-for-1 in their win Sunday against Manchester, scoring the tying goal with under two minutes to play in regulation. That moved them to 8-for-44 (18.2%) with the man advantage, ranking 13th in the league. They are 4-for-22 both at home and on the road.
The Kalamazoo penalty kill is 54-for-65 (83.1%), which ranks 15th in the ECHL. They aren't as good on the road, where they have allowed eight power-play goals in 35 shorthanded situations, a 77.1% rate.
The Jackals penalty kill was 2-for-2 last night and is now 24-for-28 (85.7%) in the last 11 games. On the season they are 35-for-44 (79.5%) on the penalty kill, ranking 22nd in the league. They have been shorthanded fewer than any other team in the league.