Cyclones Take Playoff Opener against Kalamazoo
Cincinnati, OH- The Cincinnati Cyclones defeated the Kalamazoo Wings, 7-4, in Game 1 of the Central Division Semifinals of the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs presented by Smile Direct Club. The Cyclones lead the best-of-seven game series, 1 game to 0. Defensemen Mitch Jones and Tobie Bisson, along with forwards Myles Powell, Pascal Aquin, Jesse Schultz, Vas Glotov, and Judd Peterson scored the goals for the Cyclones.
After the Wings took a 1-0 lead 2:16 into the first on a goal from forward Kyle Thomas, Cincinnati tied the game on the power play when Jones took a pass from forward Brady Vail at the blue line, and he hammered in a shot in to tie the game, 1-1.
Cincinnati tacked on another at the 11:23 mark of the first when Powell came down the right side and fired a shot off the crossbar and in to give the Cyclones a 2-1 lead. The momentum was short-lived as 14 seconds later, the Wings capitalized off a mistake behind the Cyclones net and received a goal from forward Chad McDonald to even the game up, 2-2.
Cincinnati grabbed the lead right back at 16:19 of the first when Vail one-touched a pass to Aquin in the high slot, and he launched a shot in past Kalamazoo netminder Ivan Kulbakov to give the Cyclones a 3-2 edge after 20 minutes.
The Cyclones power play continued to produce in the second, as just 30 in, Schultz took a pass in the left corner and spun a shot on goal the beat Kulbakov to extend the Cincinnati lead to 4-2. Cincinnati was not done and added another 5:51 into the frame when Glotov entered the offensive zone and snapped a shot from just inside the blueline and in to put Cincinnati in front, 5-2.
Kalamazoo cut their deficit back to a pair with under five to play in the frame when forward Chris Collins lit the lamp to trim the Cyclones lead to 5-3. Cincinnati was not deterred and extended their advantage back to three when Glotov fed Peterson on a 2-on-1 rush and he snapped in a shot to extend their advantage to 5-3.
Cincinnati wrapped up the period with 36 seconds left in the frame when Vail sent a pass to Bisson in the left circle, and he took a shot that deflected off a Wings stick and in past new Kalamazoo goaltender Jake Hildebrand to put the 'Clones up, 7-3, after two periods.
Kalamazoo managed one more in the third when Thomas netted his second of the night to trim their deficit to 7-4, however that is all the offense the Wings were able to muster as Cincinnati held on for the 7-4 win.
Cincinnati outshot Kalamazoo, 38-28 on the evening, with goaltender Michael Houser stopping 24 in the win. Game 2 of the series goes Saturday night at U.S. Bank Arena, with the face-off slated for 7:35pm ET.
The 2018-19 season has come to an end and the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs presented by Smile Direct Club are HERE! The 2018-19 ECHL Brabham Cup Champion Cincinnati Cyclones want YOU along for the ride, and playoff tickets are on sale NOW starting at $18 per seat for single game tickets and $15 per seat for groups of 20 or more! Call (513) 421-PUCK for tickets and more information, and stay on top of all the latest team updates and information on Facebook, Twitter (@CincyCyclones), and Instagram, along with our website, www.cycloneshockey.com !
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