Kalamazoo, MI.- A goal from Dominic Zombo evened the game up late but it was a power play goal from the Cyclones in the final 2:06 of play that was the difference as Cincinnati topped Kalamazoo 4-3 on Friday night at Wings Event Center.
Kalamazoo opened the scoring in the first, and carried that lead into the first intermission. Kyle Thomas connected with Kyle Blaney who reached around Michael Houser to tuck the puck past the netminder and to the back of the net. Kalamazoo led 1-0 after the opening frame.
In the second period the Cyclones jumped out with a pair of goals to take a 2-1 lead just over midway through the period. Eric Knodel got the Cyclones on the board 5:28 into the period letting a slap shot from the point fly. With traffic in front of Kulbakov the puck found its way past the K-Wing netminder to the back of the net, tying the game at 1-1. Cincinnati took the one goal lead five minutes later on a similar play. Off a faceoff win Mitch Jones let a slap shot fly through traffic, giving the Cyclones the 2-1 lead at the 10:44 mark of the period. The K-Wings evened things up late in the period with a goal from Jagger Dirk to send the game into the second intermission all tied up at 2-2.
Cincinnati retook the lead 6:20 into the third period as Myles Powell struck to give the Cyclones a 3-2 lead. Late in the period the K-Wings offense peppered Michael Houser and found life as Dominic Zombo scored against his former squad to even the game at 3-3 with 4:53 to play in regulation. Standing right behind the left goal post Michael Neal fed a pass out to Zombo who one-timed the puck past Houser just inside the near post. Late in the period penalties to Myles Powell and Luke Sandler gave the Cyclones 3:00 of power play time, and they converted. Alex Wideman snapped a shot from the bottom of the right circle just under the bar, giving the Cyclones a 4-3 lead with just 2:06 to play in regulation. Cincinnati would hold off a late push from Kalamazoo, clinging on to win 4-3 and take a 3-1 series lead.
Ivan Kulbakov stopped 27 of 31 shots while suffering the loss for Kalamazoo, while Houser stopped 33 of 36 for the Cyclones. Kalamazoo finished the night 0-for-4 on the man-advantage, while the Cyclones finished 2-for-5. Cincinnati holds a 3-1 edge in the best-of-seven series heading into tomorrow night’s Game 5.
The K-Wings and Cyclones are back in action tomorrow night at Wings Event Center. Puck drop is set for 7:00pm.
Kalamazoo Wings full season tickets are available now for the 2019-20 season! More information can be gathered at www.kwings.com.
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.