KALAMAZOO, Michigan – A crazy bounce in the third period gave Aaron Clarke the game-winning goal and the Kalamazoo Wings (13-15-2-1) a 3-2 triumph over the Cincinnati Cyclones (19-10-2-0) in front of 3,755 at Wings Stadium on Monday night.
AA bad bounce gave the Wings a 1-0 lead midway through the opening stanza; Alexandre Mallet sent in a shot from the right circle that took a weird bounce and beat goaltender Brian Foster (L, 34 saves, 13-4-2) at the 14:10 mark. The Cyclones would answer back, though, just before the break as Garrett Wilson found a loose puck in the Kalamazoo crease and buried his 13th goal of the season to even things at one through 20 minutes of play.
In the second stanza, both goaltenders continued to shine as Foster made nine more saves while Joel Martin (W, 30 saves, 11-12-2-1) denied all ten he faced to keep both teams deadlocked at a goal apiece through two periods.
Early in the third, the Cyclones pulled ahead when Josh Shalla tipped home Chris Reed’s point shot for his team-leading 13th goal of the season – giving his team a 2-1 lead. However, a Shalla penalty at 9:36 would spark a Wings rally. After Sam Ftorek’s slap shot was padded away by Foster at 10:06, the rebound was collected by former Cyclone Eric Kattelus and sent in to knot things at two. Then, just 41 seconds later, Aaron Clarke cannoned a shot over the Cincinnati net that ricocheted off the glass, then off of Foster, and into the net to give Kalamazoo a 3-2 cushion. In the final minutes, the Cyclones pulled the goalie in hopes of tying it with the extra attacker, but it was not to be. The final seconds ticked away without the equalizer coming, and the Wings held on to win by a 3-2 final score.