KALAMAZOO, MI— The Kalamazoo Wings continued their red-hot play to the start of the season as they improved to 4-0-0-1 after a 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones in the annual Halloween Orange Ice game on Saturday night at Wings Event Center.
Earning an early power play try, the Wings raced out to a lead just minutes into the first period. Kyle Bushee worked the puck over to the right wing, where Danny Moynihan fired a slap shot which slipped through a web of screens and past the leg of Cyclones’ goaltender Anthony Peters, opening up a 1-0 edge for the home team.
Seven minutes later, the Cyclones tied the game at one with a long-range wrist shot from Mitch Nylen. Arvin Atwal worked the puck across the blue line for Nylen, who skipped a wrist shot that leaked through the pads of Wings goalie Michael Garteig.
48 seconds later and on a power play, the Cyclones earned a one-goal edge with yet another long shot through traffic. Eric Knodel worked the puck to the left wing side for Shawn O’Donnell, who one-timed his second goal of the season.
Kalamazoo didn’t need long after the start of the second period to knot the game at two goals apiece. Tyler Biggs swiped the puck from the Cincinnati defense, scooted along the left wing side, past a defender, and chipped a short-side roof shot that found the top corner of the goal for his second of the season.
Seven minutes later, the Wings took their second lead of the game with Moynihan’s second of the night. Aaron Irving unleashed a rocket from the top of the right circle, and Moynihan reached out his stick and deflected the puck, sending it into the short-side corner, establishing a 3-2 Wings’ lead.
As the back-and-forth continued in the second frame, Cincinnati equalized while pushing ahead on a two-on-one rush. Justin Danforth wheeled up the left side, and caught Garteig off guard with a wrist shot that beat the Kalamazoo netminder over his extended right leg.
The Wings stepped back on the gas after surrendering the goal and jumped right back into the lead while on the right end of a five-on-three power play. Eric Kattelus hammered a one-timer from the high slot that was initially stopped by Peters, but the rebound was left alone for Biggs to deposit for his second of the game.
Early in the third period, Josh Pitt put the nail in the coffin with a bang-bang finish that gave Kalamazoo a 5-3 lead. Lane Scheidl’s drive was kicked aside by Peters, but Pitt crashed the rebound and wired the puck into the goal, capping off any chance of a Cyclones’ comeback.
Next: Kalamazoo vs. Cincinnati Cyclones, Wednesday, November 1, 7:00 p.m., Wings Event Center.
Broadcast information: Wednesday’s game will air on AM 1660 The Fan in Kalamazoo or online at www.1660thefan.com/listen-live.
Notes: Peter Schneider has points in 18 straight games dating back to March 5 of last season…Moynihan has two goals in back-to-back games… Kalamazoo’s penalty kill went 10/11 and the power play went 2/4…Biggs finished the night with three points, marking the most in a single game for a Wings’ skater all season…Kalamazoo are off to their best start (4-0-0-1) since the 2009-10 season.
Single-game tickets are on sale! Tickets start as low as $10 and can be purchased at http://kwings.com/SingleGameTickets or at the Wings Event Center box office.
Wings Event Center, owned and operated by Greenleaf Hospitality Group, is home to the Kalamazoo Wings professional hockey team and a full entertainment venue offering concerts, sporting events, family shows and trade shows. Built in 1974, Wings Event Center values partnerships with the community to bring events and attractions that enrich the lives of residents in the Kalamazoo area.