Kalamazoo (3-1-0-0) vs Cincinnati (2-1-2-0)
7:30 pm | Wings Event Center
Listen: 1660 the Fan
The K-Wings will kick off the ECHL's brand new partnership with Nickelodeon on Saturday night in big fashion by celebrating with the Ninja Turtles. Kalamzoo will be wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle themed jerseys, while the Cyclones will be wearing Baron Draxum jerseys. Immediately after the game fans are invited to stick around and bid on the K-Wings jerseys with the proceeds going back to the American Cancer Society. In addition the Ninja turtles themselves will be in attendance and available to fans during the game.
Kids are also invited to celebrate the upcoming Halloween by wearing their costumes to the game and trick or treating around the concourse before the game. There will also be a costume contest during the first intermission, with both adult and children's divisions.
Last Time Out:
A back and forth affair highlighted by a pair of power play goals from each side needed overtime, as the K-Wings topped the Cyclones 4-3 on Friday night in Cincinnati. After surrendering the first two goals in the opening period Kalamazoo went to work in the middle frame. Reid Gardiner notched his first and second goals of the season in the middle period, pulling the teams even.
The Cyclones would retake the lead again in the third, but once again the resilient Kalamazoo offense knotted the score up. Chris Collins' power play goal just a few minutes after the Cyclones took the lead drew the teams even once again.
With the score still tied after 60 minutes Kalamazoo and Cincinnati headed to overtime. It took less than a minute in the extra period for the K-Wings to end the game. Kyle Blaney wristed a shot that bounced off a defenseman's shin pads and past Jonas Johansson, giving the Wings the 4-3 victory.
Saturday is the second of 11 meetings between the Central Division foes this season, and first at Wings Event Center. Kalamazoo claimed the first game of the series on Friday night in Cincinnati with a 4-3 come from behind victory in overtime. Last year the Cyclones got the best of the K-Wings in the season series, winning four of the seven matchups. Kalamazoo finished the series with a record of (3-3-1-0)
A Night of Firsts:
Friday night was one of firsts for a few Kalamazoo rookies. Defenseman Matt Joyaux made his professional debut and also recorded his first professional point, an assist, as well as his first pro fight. Joyaux joins the K-Wings after finishing up a collegiate career at Ohio State. In addition forward Zach Diamantoni notched an assist on Reid Gardiner's goal, giving him his first professional point as well. Diamantoni, appearing in his third professional game, also joined Kalamazoo from the collegiate ranks where he played at Northern Michigan University.
Thomas Keeps Going Pt. 2:
Kyle Thomas extended his season opening point streak once again with a pair of assists on Friday night. The forward leads the K-Wings after netting six points in his first four games with Kalamazoo. The former Norwich standout also picked up points in his final two games of the 2017-18 season, giving him points in each of his last six games. With a pair of assists on Friday night Thomas has now recorded two multi-point games for the K-Wings. He has also factored in on either the tying or game-winning goal in each of Kalamazoo's first three victories.
After being held scoreless in each of the first three games the power play broke through on Friday night scoring twice. Reid Gardiner and Chris Collins both tallied on the man-advantage, making Kalamazoo no longer the only team without a power play goal this season. Last season Kalmazoo boasted the sixth ranked power play unit in the ECHL at the end of the year after converting on 18.6% of opportunities.
The K-Wings wrap up October with their annual Education Day on October 30 against Toledo. Puck drop for the game is set for 10:30am.