KALAMAZOO, MI— The Kalamazoo Wings took a one-goal lead into the third period, but could not overcome a late surge by the Cincinnati Cyclones during a 4-3 loss on Wednesday night at Wings Event Center.
The Wings had Cincinnati’s number in the early goings of the teams’ second meeting in four nights. Establishing possession in the attacking zone, Peter Schneider slid the puck in front to Josh Pitt, whose first try was stopped by Anthony Peters. Pitt followed his effort and slid the rebound into the far side of the goal for his third of the year.
With time ticking down in the period, the Wings were on the receiving end of a fortuitous bounce off a Cyclones’ defender. Chasing down a puck in the attacking zone, Justin Taylor spun and zipped a wrist shot that cut through traffic and ricocheted off a Cincinnati skate, causing it to fly into the top corner of the goal, giving the Wings a 2-0 lead at the first break.
Cincinnati found their footing in the second period and were the only team who struck during the middle frame. With less than five minutes remaining in the period, Andrew Radjenovic led an odd-man rush into the Kalamazoo zone and unleased a top-corner-seeking wrist shot that cut the Cyclones’ deficit in half after 40 minutes of action.
The visitors continued their relentless pressure into the third period and tallied twice in a span of 2:19 in the third period to take a lead. Daniel Muzito-Bagenda scored his first goal of the season after re-directing a Brandon McNally shot from the blue line, tying the game at two.
To return the favor shortly thereafter, Muzito-Bagenda set up McNally for his first of the year, helping Cincinnati to a 3-2 edge in the final period.
Not going down without a fight, the Wings punched home an equalizer a few minutes later, courtesy of Tyler Heinonen, who was making his season debut. The rookie forward corralled the puck with his back to the goal, spun to the forehand, and sailed a wrist shot into the top corner with pinpoint accuracy.
The stalemate lasted just three and a half minutes before the Cyclones would produce the eventual game winner. Continuing their success by clogging up the view of Wings’ goalie Joel Martin, Jesse Schultz deflected a long shot from the blue line past the Kalamazoo netminder, edging the score in favor of Cincinnati, 4-3. The Wings would muster up a handful of chances in the closing seconds, but they could not generate a tying goal.
Next: Kalamazoo @ Toledo Walleye, Saturday, November 4, 7:15 p.m., Huntington Center.
Broadcast information: Saturday’s game will air on AM 1660 The Fan in Kalamazoo or online at www.1660thefan.com/listen-live.
Notes: Marin appeared in his 600th career professional game…Justin Taylor appeared in his 450th career ECHL game…Schneider improved his active point streak to 19 games, dating back to March 5 of last season…Kalamazoo tied a season high with 40 shots on goal, and the 41 surrendered to Cincinnati set a new season high…The Wings went 0/1 on the power play and 3/3 on the penalty kill…Kalamazoo’s only two losses have come when leading after two periods of play.
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.