By: Mark C. McGlothlen
The Kalamazoo Wings (3-2-0-0) played a pair of games against their Central Division foes, the Cincinnati Cyclones ( 3-1-2-0) this past weekend.
Coming off a pair of victories over another division opponent, the Fort Wayne Komets, last weekend, the K-Wings hoped to carry that momentum into this past weekends matchup against the Cyclones.
On Friday, the K-Wings visited the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio to take on the Cyclones. After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, the K-Wings came back to tie the game 2-2 in the second.
Reid Gardiner scored on the powerplay midway into the period to cut the Cyclones lead in half. The power play goal by Gardiner, his first of the season, was the K-Wings first of the season on the man advantage.
Gardiner struck again less than three minutes later to tie the game at two goals apiece. The Cyclones scored the go ahead goal in the opening minutes of the third period to take a 3-2 lead. Chris Collins scored a power play goal minutes later to tie the game 3-3. The score remained tied for the remainder of regulation to send the game into overtime.
Kyle Blaney played the hero for the K-Wings, scoring his first goal of the season just 45 seconds into the extra frame. Blaney sent a wrister toward the net, deflecting the puck off a defensemans pad and into the net for the win.
On the night, the K-Wings went 2-for-3 on the power play while the Cyclones went 2-for-4. K-Wing netminder, Jake, Hildebrand stopped 22 of the 25 shots he faced in the win.
On Saturday, the same two teams faced off against each other, this time at Wings Event Center for Orange Ice Night.
After a scoreless first period, Blaney picked up where he left off the previous night by scoring the first goal of the contest to give the K-Wings a 1-0 lead. That was all the scoring that the K-WIngs would produce as the Cyclones went on to defeat the K-Wings 2-1.
Hildebrand stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced in the loss. Michael Houser stopped 39 of 40 shots that he faced for the win.
The K-Wings return to the ice bright and early Tuesday morning as they host the Toledo Walleye for Education Day. Schools from all over Southwest Michigan will be in attendance for the 10:30 am game.
Remaining home, the K-Wings host the Cyclones on Friday at 7:30 pm. The team travels to Fort Wayne on Saturday to battle the Komets before returning home to take on the Idaho Steelheads at Wings Event Center on Sunday. The game on Sunday begins at 3:00 pm.