Brandon Svendsen had a four-point night including a hat trick to lead the Kalamazoo Wings (4-2-0-1) past the Cincinnati Cyclones (1-5-1-1) by a 4-3 final score in front of 1,364 at U.S. Bank Arena on Wednesday night.
The Wings exploited a struggling Cincinnati penalty kill unit it the first period, netting a pair of goals with the man advantage. The first, at 5:11, came when Brandon Svendsen blasted home a shot past Cyclones goalie Chet Pickard (L, 19 saves, 0-3-0) for a 1-0 Wings lead. They added another power play tally not even four minutes later when A.J. Thelen's point shot made it through a screen and through the legs of Pickard for a 2-0 advantage. Cincinnati was able to answer as Matt Pierce was able to bury a penalty shot and cut the deficit to one heading into the first intermission.
The Wings regained their two-goal cushion just 4:55 into the middle frame when Svendsen struck again, this time on a bad angle shot that eluded Pickard for a 3-1 Kalamazoo lead – which was the score heading into the final frame of regulation.
Early in the third period, Svendsen lit the lamp again; the second-year player completed the hat trick by sending a shot into roof of the Cincinnati net for a commanding 4-1 lead at 6:58 of third. However, like they have done many times before, the Cyclones were able to get some late pressure. Cincinnati rookie Christiaan Minella pounced on a loose puck left out front and smashed it home for his first professional goal, making it 4-2. Then, with less than four minute to play, Scott Lehman skated through the Kalamazoo zone and sent a laser past the glove-side shoulder of Wings goalie Ryan Nie (W, 26 saves, 4-1-0-1) to make it 4-3. Unfortunately, in the final minutes Scott Reynolds drew a high sticking minor that prevented any comeback hopes and Kalamazoo sealed the 4-3 victory.
Cincinnati's power play cashed in twice on nine attempts. The Wings were 2-for-7 tonight.
With the first homestand of the season behind them, the Cyclones hit the road for a pair of games this weekend. On Friday night they'll battle the Trenton Devils at 7:00pm followed by a meeting with the Wheeling Nailers on Saturday night at 7:35pm.