KALAMAZOO, MI — Justin Taylor struck twice for the Kalamazoo Wings on Monday morning, but it wasn’t enough, as the Wings stumbled against the Cincinnati Cyclones in a 3-2 loss at Wings Event Center.
Kalamazoo dominated the opening period and were able to generate sustained pressure in the Cincinnati zone while peppering 19 shots to the net. Cyclones’ goaltender Michael Houser withstood each chance from Kalamazoo and Joel Martin had a stifling defense in front that let the opposition muster up just five shots, all of which were kept out.
Midway through the second period and on their first power play of the game, Kalamazoo tallied the morning’s first goal. Composed passing around the perimeter left Eric Kattelus with enough room to slip a backdoor feed to Justin Taylor for an easy deflection that crossed the line for his 23rd of the season.
Later on in the period, Cincinnati made Kalamazoo pay for a turnover in their own end. Although the Wings held the Cyclones to just three shots in the second period, a giveaway by the Wings freed Tommy Mele to carry towards the goal and fire a shot past the outstretched leg of Martin to tie the game at one.
Early in the third period, the Cyclones came to life and tacked on two goals in the first five minutes. Christian Minella followed a rebound from a shot by Jaynen Rissling and was able to punch home his second of the season and give the visitors a one-goal lead.
Less than three minutes later, Rissling fired a shot from the left-side point that cut through a series of bodies in front of the goal. Martin lost sight of the puck and it sailed over his shoulder and into the top corner of the goal.
Shortly after falling behind by a pair of goals, the Wings cut the deficit in half while operating on their second man-advantage try of the game. In similar fashion to his first goal of the game, Taylor posted up on the backdoor and tipped in a tape-to-tape feed from Blake Kessel.
With time winding down in the third, the Wings trailing by one, and Martin on the bench for an empty attacker, Cincinnati withstood a late push and closed the door on Kalamazoo’s comeback efforts.
Next: Kalamazoo @ Quad City Mallards- Friday, February 24, 8:05 p.m., iWireless Center.
Broadcast information: Friday’s game will air on AM 1660 The Fan in Kalamazoo or online at www.1660thefan.com/listen-live.
Notes: Kalamazoo went 2/3 on the power play and 2/2 on the penalty kill… The Wings outshot the Cyclones, 39-26… Kalamazoo have lost three straight games, all of which have been one-goal games…Kalamazoo’s three shots allowed during the second period are the least allowed in a single period all season.
Single-game tickets are on sale! Tickets start as low as $10 and can be purchased at www.kwings.com/tickets/schedule or at the Wings Event Center box office.
Wings Event Center, owned and operated by Greenleaf Hospitality Group, is home to the minor league hockey team Kalamazoo Wings 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.