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GAME DAY: ROAD TRIP CONTINUES AGAINST DIVISION LEADING CYCLONES

Wednesday, February 20th
GAME DAY: ROAD TRIP CONTINUES AGAINST DIVISION LEADING CYCLONES

Game #52

Kalamazoo (27-21-1-2) at Cincy (36-9-3-3)

7:35 pm

Watch: ECHL.TV,

Listen: 1660 the Fan

Last Time Out:

Kyle Thomas extended his point streak to 15-games scoring twice and Matiss Kivlenieks notched his first victory as a K-Wing in overtime as Kalamazoo topped Brampton 5-4 in OT on Monday afternoon. Brampton netted a pair of goals in the opening period to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission, but the K-Wing offense flew to life, scoring three straight in the second period. Leading 4-2 after the middle frame, the K-Wings saw the Beast form a late push as they scored twice in the final frame. A goal David Vallorani with less than five seconds to play in regulation knotted the game completely up, and sent the K-Wings to overtime for the third time in the last six games. Thomas sprinted past the defense midway through the period on a breakaway and put the puck past Etienne Marcoux to give the K-Wings the 5-4 victory. Thomas finished the night with a pair of goals, while Chad McDonald netted two points (1g, 1a) and Kyle Blaney added a pair of assists for Kalamazoo. Kivlenieks stopped 29 of 33 shots in his first start for Kalamazoo, taking his first victory as a K-Wing.

Thomas Keeps Streaking:

Two goals for Kyle Thomas on Monday afternoon extended the forward's point streak to 15-games, putting him two games off Reid Gardiner's league high 17 game streak earlier in the season. Thomas, who is fourth on the team with 38 points, has tallied 22 points during the current 15-game stretch. Since the streak began on Jan. 19, Thomas has netted 12 of his 15 goals this season. During his 17-game streak earlier this season Reid Gardiner netted a total of 32-points.

Central Division Grind:

Apart from the upcoming Saturday matchup with Kansas City the K-Wings will play 17 of the next 18 games within the Central Division as they fight for a playoff spot. Kalamazoo currently holds the third spot in the Central, leading Fort Wayne and Wheeling by three points, and Indy by four. This season the K-Wings are 18-20-0-1 against their own division. Over the next 18 games the K-Wings will face Cincinnati three times, Toledo four times, Fort Wayne four times, Indy three times, and Wheeling three times. Kalamazoo ends the season out of division with three games against Mountain Division foes.

Head to Head:

Wednesday is the ninth of 12 meetings between the Central Division foes. After taking the opening meeting of the season between the teams in OT the K-Wings have seen the Cyclones claim each of the last seven matchups. After Wednesday the teams will play twice more in the month of March to conclude the season series. Cincy’s Pascal Aquin leads all skaters in the series with ten points split perfectly between goals and assists. Jesse Schultz, Alex Wideman and Myles Powell rank second on the Cyclones and in the series with nine points. Chris Collins leads the K-Wings and is right behind them with eight points (3g, 5a). Kyle Blaney, Justin Taylor, and Tanner Sorenson trail Collins having each scored three times against the Cyclones. Jake Hildebrand has appeared in six contests against the Cyclones, posting a record of 1-5-0-0, while Michael Houser has shouldered the load for the Cyclones starting five of the eight meetings. Houser has allowed only seven goals to Kalamazoo, posting a 1.40 goals against average and a .952 save percentage.

Back in Familiar Territory:

Forward Dominic Zombo makes his first return to US Bank Arena as a K-Wing. Zombo played two full seasons with the Cyclones and began the 2018-19 campaign with Cincinnati before being traded to Wichita, then Kalamazoo. An assistant captain last season, Zombo added 21 points, while playing in 71 games for Cincinnati. Zombo played in 13 games for the Cyclones this season prior to being traded to the Thunder.

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