Another Central Division showdown has arrived, as your Toledo Walleye are in Kalamazoo to take on the Wings! Toledo enters the contest on a four game win streak and have won seven of their last ten games, while the Wings are on a two game win streak and have also won seven of their last ten games. Kalamazoo has been on an upward trend lately, so the Walleye will be facing a much greater challenge than their last game. The Wings are out of a playoff spot currently, so they need to win interdivisional games to make up for lost ground. A win against Toledo at home would greatly help K-Zoo’s playoff push, while the Walleye look to prevent such a surge for the Wings.
League Standing: 1st place at 30-7-0-1 and 61 points
Western Conference Standing: 1st out of 14 teams
Central Division Standing: 1st out of 7 teams
Goals Scored Average: 4.11, with 156 goals scored ranking 2nd
Goals Against Average: 2.71, with 103 goals allowed ranking 2nd
Power Play: 22.6%, 3rd ranked percentage and have scored 37 Power Play goals
Penalty Kill: 84.0%, 12th ranked percentage with 19 Power Play goals allowed
League Standing: 22nd place at 18-18-1-3 and 40 points
Western Conference Standing: 9th out of 14 teams
Central Division Standing: 5th out of 7 teams
Goals Scored Average: 2.73, with 109 goals scored ranking 21st
Goals Against Average: 3.35, with 134 goals allowed ranking 18th
Power Play: 12.9%, 22nd ranked percentage and have scored 23 Power Play goals
Penalty Kill: 81.2, 20th ranked percentage with 28 Power Play goals allowed
No player transactions or roster changes have occurred since Friday’s game against the Indy Fuel.
Kalamazoo’s most recent transactions came on the 18th and 19th. On the 18th forward (F) Tyler Shattock was traded to the Alaska Aces to acquire Justin Breton (F). Goaltender (G) Keegan Asmundson was also traded to the Tulsa Oilers, and as a result Nick Riopel (G) was loaned to the Wings from the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. On the 19th defenseman Blake Kessel rejoined the team following the end of his suspension, and Justin Taylor (F) was placed on reserve.
As stated before Kalamazoo is nearly in a must win in every interdivisional game left this season. For the ECHL games against division opponents are more important because the top four team in each division make the playoffs, and Kalamazoo is on the outside looking in. Toledo and Kalamazoo games have already been intense matches this season, so expect a real slugfest this afternoon. As for Toledo, Jake Paterson will most likely be getting the nod for the start. I am starting to worry about fatigue for Jake, since Heeter has been called up Paterson has played/started in 13 of the 14 games he has been available. On the other hand, we have finally gotten to see how Jake handles a starting role, and he has excelled so far in his new role. Paterson will need to be sharp today, as Central Division wins are always valuable. Kalamazoo is all too aware of this, so let’s drop the puck already and get this going! Expect a close game throughout, as these teams have played each other well even if the score doesn’t reflect it. Let’s Go Walleye!