Payne leads Jr. K-Wings to OT win over Warriors on Wednesday
Kalamazoo 3 @ Michigan 2 (OT) - The Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings needed two rallies on Wednesday night to defeat the Michigan Warriors. Kalamazoo was able to score late in the third to erase the one goal deficit to take the game into overtime. Then, at the 4:48 mark in overtime, when a shootout seemed imminent, Kalamazoo was able to earn the victory.
The first period was one dominated by the goaltenders. Kalamazoo’s Alex Okicki and Michigan’s Trevor Gorsuch each saw nine shots, and each saved all nine. Both teams had one power play, but neither were able to take advantage.
Early into the second, Darren McCormick broke the scoreless tie, giving Michigan a 1-0 lead. He was the beneficiary of a pass from Shawn Badali that was able to split the two Kalamazoo defenders.
With 4:03 left in the second period, the Jr. K-Wings took advantage of a power play and evened the score at one. Mark Esshaki fired a shot through traffic and was able to record his first goal of the season. In his first game with the Jr. K-Wings, Mac McDonnell recorded a point by getting the assist. Josh Dangel also had an assist on the goal.
At the 10:28 mark in the third, Rob Click was able to end the tie. His unassisted goal gave the Warriors the 2-1 lead.This 2-1 lead would hold for Michigan for over seven minutes, but with 3:23 left in the game, Brett Beauvais was able to tie the game back up. His goal was from the top of the point and was assisted by Taylor Burden.
After three periods, the teams were still tied, so they went to overtime. There were some near goals on both sides, but with only 12 seconds remaining in overtime, Robbie Payne scored the game winner for the Jr. K-Wings. With that goal, his 13th of the season, Payne not only secured the win, but also became the team’s leading scorer.