CINCINNATI, OH— The Kalamazoo Wings and Cincinnati Cyclones were both backstopped by remarkable goaltending, but the Wings ended up on the wrong end of a 2-1 defensive battle on Saturday night at U.S. Bank Arena.
After each team earned a flurry of scoring chances through the first 13 minutes of the game, the Cyclones eventually cashed in on one of their chances. Following a turnover by Kalamazoo, Alex Kile was fed a pass behind the defense and used a beautiful move to slip his 10th of the year past Joel Martin. Kile’s goal was the only tally in the first, as the Wings went into the first break down by a goal.
Midway through the second period and on their second power play try of the night, Cincinnati doubled their lead and went ahead 2-0. Setting up around the perimeter, the puck wound up on the stick of Eric Knodel, whose long slap shot was tipped in front by Justin Vaive and trickled past Martin and just over the line. Vaive’s 20th of the season was the lone second-period tally and Kalamazoo entered the locker room trailing by a pair.
Doing everything they could to close the gap, the Wings continued to pepper Jonas Johansson with shots, and they were eventually rewarded for their efforts. With under two minutes to play and Martin on the bench for an extra attacker, Jon Jutzi rimmed the puck behind the goal where it eventually rolled to Tyler Heinonen. Heinonen pulled it off the wall and walked to the center of the ice to slip a wrist shot into the stick side of the net.
Heinonen’s marker drew Kalamazoo to within a goal, but the Cyclones withstood the late chances from the attacking Wings and held on for the 2-1 win.
Next: Kalamazoo @ Brampton Beast- Friday, March 2, 7:15 p.m., Powerade Centre.
Broadcast information: Friday’s game will air on AM 1660 The Fan or online at www.1660thefan.com/listen-live.
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.