CINCINNATI, OH –Looking to put an end to a season long three game losing streak, the Kalamazoo Wings traveled to Cincinnati, OH to take on the Cyclones for the fourth time in their last six games.
Looking to set the tone early in the game, Taylor Ellington put the K-Wings on the board just 32 seconds into the opening period with his fourth goal of the year. The goal by Ellington, scored on a Justin Taylor face-off win, was the quickest goal of the season so far for the K-Wings.
Back to back shorthanded goals by Jonathon Hazen and Mathieu Aubin put the Cyclones in the lead later in the period. On the season, the Cyclones have four shorthanded goals, all of which have come against the K-Wings.
Swiping the puck from the K-Wings, Justin Vaive gave the Cyclones a 3-1 lead late in the period. Bryan Haczyk scored on the power play to cut the Cyclones lead in half, but with less than a minute left in the opening period, the Cyclones restored their two goal lead with a goal by Anthony Luciani on the power play tally.
Opening the second period like the first, the K-Wings struck early. Justin Taylor scored his 11th goal of the year just over a minute into the period to once again cut the Cyclones lead to a single goal.
Dustin Cloutier’s first goal of the season, a breakaway midway in the period, tied the score 4-4. But from there, the Cyclones broke the game open. Two goals by Luciani just under five minutes apart, gave the Cyclones a 6-4 lead at the end of the period.
Aubin added his second of the night early in the third period and Evan Trupp pushed the Cyclones to a four goal lead later in the period to put the game out of reach for the K-Wings.
Cloutier scored his second of the night for the K-Wings with just over a minute remaining in the game for the 8-5 final.
With the loss, the K-Wings hold on first place is tightening. With a record of 16-11-0-2, the K-Wings hold a slim two point lead over the Chicago Express, who lost to the Toledo Walleye by a score of 2-1 in overtime last night. The Cyclones and the Walleye trail the K-Wings by seven points.
The K-Wings take on the Express this Friday night at the Sears Centre. Returning home on Saturday night, the K-Wings will host the Walleye for the 10th Annual New Year’s Eve Bash at Wings Stadium. Fans that purchase tickets to the game will also receive admission to both the public skate and pre and post game concerts featuring the Bronk Brothers.
K-Wings News and Notes
Transactions: Defenseman Joe Charlebois is on loan to the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL. Forward Avery Wilson signed with the K-Wings on Tuesday. The K-Wings also signed forward Rob Sich, Dustin Cloutier and Matt Whitehead.
Impressive: K-Wings equipment manager Eric Bechtol worked his 1,200th career game last night.
Eight IS enough: The eight goals given up by the K-Wings last night was a season high. The last time the K-Wings surrendered eight goals was back on November 13, 2010 against the Walleye when they lost 8-0.