Game 18: Elmira Jackals (4-10-3-0) vs. Kalamazoo Wings (7-10-0-2)
7:05 p.m., First Arena, Elmira, New York
The Jackals play the final game of their six-game homestand with the second of two straight games against the Kalamazoo Wings at First Arena, as the Jackals hold their annual Teddy Bear Toss.
The Wings snapped a five-game winless streak with Wednesday's overtime win against the Jackals, improving to 7-10-0-2 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 came last Sunday in the final game of a three-in-three in three different cities. Kalamazoo travels to Manchester for two games tomorrow and Sunday.
The Jackals are on a season-high three-game point streak, winning back-to-back games against the Manchester Monarchs over the weekend before falling in overtime to Kalamazoo Wednesday. After tonight's match with the K-Wings, the Jackals wrap up the week with an afternoon match in Brampton Sunday to begin a six-game road trip.
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 Taylor completed a hat trick with a goal 1:19 into overtime to give the Kalamazoo Wings a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Jackals Wednesday night.
Kyle Rankin started the scoring with a power-play goal at 14:29 of the first period, stashing home a rebound in the slot to give the Jackals a 1-0 lead. Taylor tied the game 7:09 into the second period with a drive from the right circle, but Vaclav Karabacek put the Jackals back in front with a power-play goal at 11:21 of the second.
Kalamazoo grabbed its first lead early in the third period, scoring back-to-back goals 1:20 apart to go up 3-2 2:47 into the third. After Andy Iles stopped Anthony Camara on a penalty shot, the Jackals battled back to get the game even at three with Justin Kea scoring on a 2-on-1 rush. That goal forced OT, where Taylor won it on a Wings 2-on-1 rush.
Toss those teddy bears
Tonight is the Jackals annual Teddy Bear Toss, as fans are asked to bring a teddy bear or stuffed animal to the game. Once the Jackals score their first goal, fans toss their teddy bears onto the ice. The bears will be collected and donated to local emergency services, which will distribute them to children in need in the Southern Tier this holiday season.
Scouting the Wings
Kalamazoo ended a five-game winless streak (0-4-0-1) with Wednesday's win and they are now 2-7-0-1 in the last 10 games. With 16 points and a 7-10-0-2 record, the K-Wings find themselves in sixth in the Central Division, four points out of the division's final playoff spot. Tonight is the second game of a four game in five night stretch for the K-Wings, as they visit Manchester for back-to-back tomorrow and Sunday.
Kalamazoo is 25th in the ECHL, scoring 2.26 goals per game through its first 19 games. Three players have reached the 10-point plateau for the Wings, led by Justin Taylor's 14 points (6g, 8a) in 19 games, including a hat trick Wednesday against the Jackals. Tyler Shattock (4g, 7a) and Dajon Mingo (2g, 9a) are next with 11 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 through the first quarter of the season. In nine games, Riopel is 3-5-0-1 with a 2.86 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage, while Martin is 4-5-0-1 and has a 3.08 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage in 11 games. Martin allowed three goals on 30 shots Wednesday against the Jackals.
Tonight is the final of two matches between the Jackals and Wings in 2016-17 after Kalamazoo won Wednesday night.
Last season, in five head-to-head matches, the Jackals beat the K-Wings three times to win the season series. Dating back to the 2014-15 season, the teams have alternated wins and losses over the last seven meetings.
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 22nd in the ECHL, converting on 10-of-84 power plays this season, an 11.9% rate. On the road, the Wings are at 9.6%, 5-for-52, in 12 road matches, including an 0-for-4 Wednesday in Elmira. They've allowed three shorthanded goals. They have had the third-most power-play opportunities in the league, behind Missouri (88) and Allen (85).
The Jackals power play went 2-for-2 Wednesday and they are now 3-for-3 with the man advantage over the last two games. That moved them to 10-for-46 (21.7%) with the man advantage, ranking fifth in the league. They are 6-for-24 (25.0%) at First Arena.
The Kalamazoo penalty kill dropped to 54-for-67 (80.6%), which ranks 22nd in the ECHL. They aren't as good on the road, where they have allowed 10 power-play goals in 37 shorthanded situations, a 73.0% rate.
The Jackals penalty kill was 4-for-4 Wednesday and is now 28-for-32 (87.5%) in the last 12 games. On the season they are 39-for-48 (81.3%) on the penalty kill, ranking 21st in the league. They have been shorthanded fewer than any other team in the league.