KALAMAZOO , Michigan – Mike Embach finished off a wild, back-and-forth, affair as he scored the game-winning goal with just 2:48 to play in regulation, lifting the Cincinnati Cyclones (5-0-2-0) to a 5-4 victory over the Kalamazoo Wings (5-3-0-0) in front of 2,334 at Wings Stadium on Friday night.
Cincinnati ended an 0-for-16 power play drought early in the first period, when Andrew Hotham stepped out of the Wings corner and sent a wrist shot past Kalamazoo goaltender Joel Martin (L, 26 saves, 3-2-0-0) at 3:35 – making it 1-0 Cyclones. The Wings had ample chance to tie the game after that, with four power plays of their own in the remaining minutes of the first; however, the Cyclones stayed strong and extinguished all of them as they carried the one goal cushion into the first intermission.
The Wings answered back with back-to-back goals early in the second; Joe Charlebois beat Foster with a short-side wrist shot at 2:46. Then, at 10:37, Elgin Reid tipped home a Sam Ftorek point shot to give the Wings a 2-1 lead. Cincinnati wasn’t phased, however. They were the beneficiaries of some fortunate bounces midway through the stanza to grab momentum back once again. At 12:45, a puck kicked off of Pelech’s skate and behind Martin to knot things at two. Then, just 14 seconds later, Mattias Lindstrom raced down the left wing and flung the puck across the middle, intending to hit Hotham; instead, it bounced off of a Wings defenseman and into the cage to give Cincinnati the 3-2 edge. Another scrum in front of the net proved helpful for the visiting Cyclones as Jonathan Hazen collected a puck in the slot and lit the lamp for his second goal of the year at 13:30 to extend Cincinnati’s edge to 4-2. The three goals scored by the Cyclones in just 1:05 frame tied the club record.
In the third period, the back-and-forth game continued as Kalamazoo used a pair of Cincinnati penalties to their advantage. Brett Lysak potted two goals just 1:15 apart beginning at the 14:25 mark to pull Kalamazoo even with the Cyclones at four. But once again, Cincinnati was able to answer. After a seemingly harmless dump in by Hazen, Mike Embach crashed the net and banked a shot from behind the goal line off of Martin’s pad and into the cage for the go-ahead and eventual game-winning goal at 17:12.
Cincinnati finished 2-for-5 on the power play. Kalamazoo was 2-for-7.
The Cyclones Radio Network Stars of the Game are as follows:
First Star: Brett Lysak (2 goals, 2 assists for Kalamazoo)
Second Star: Mike Embach (Game-winning goal for Cincinnati)
Third Star: Jonathan Hazen (1 goal, 2 assists for Cincinnati)
The Cyclones will return to the ice at U.S. Bank Arena TOMORROW as they welcome in the Wheeling Nailers at 7:30pm!