– The Cincinnati Cyclones (17-16-5-2) used some great third period defense and a two-point night from Dustin Sproat, Chris Clackson, and Brady Calla to knock off the Kalamazoo Wings (17-17-2-2) by a 4-3 score in front of 6,034 at U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday night.
Clackson gave the Cyclones a 1-0 lead at the 9:35 mark of the opening frame when he backhanded home a power play goal over the glove of Kalamazoo backstop Ryan Nie (L, 36 saves, 13-11-2-2). The Wings answered back, though, when Andrew Fournier wristed home his 19th of the season past Cyclones netminder Chet Pickard (W, 31 saves, 5-8-2-0) to knot the score at 1.
Early in the second period, Kalamazoo jumped out in front when Fournier tipped in his second of the night to make it 2-1 Wings. Luckily, Cincinnati didn't allow the deficit to snowball as Dustin Sproat shelved a laser-accurate wrist shot over Nie's shoulder to once again deadlock the score – this time at two. And Cincinnati wasn't done; Barret Ehgoetz followed with a rebound goal at 15:30 to give his team the lead for good. Then, just over a minute later, Sam D'Agostino capitalized on a turnover when he picked up a loose puck and sent a shot under Nie's pad for a two-goal cushion heading into the third. As it turned out, D'Agostino's tally was the game-winning goal.
In the final frame of regulation, Kalamazoo made it a game of things when Justin Taylor redirected a Jon Landry point blast into the Cincinnati net, making it 4-3. But, in the final minutes the Cyclones defense stood tall and Pickard came up with several outstanding saves. With less than two minutes left, Brady Calla was whistled for a delay of game penalty; and when Kalamazoo pulled their goalie, they enjoyed a two-man advantage. Luckily, Pickard and the Cincinnati defense were up to the challenge as they tied up the puck along the end-boards to seal the 4-3 victory.