The Kalamazoo Wings gained their first lead with 45 seconds remaining in regulation, but the Cincinnati Cyclones fought back not only to tie the game, but to win 3-2 in overtime Friday night at Wings Stadium on Culver’s Night.

The first period yielded no goals for either squad, but not for lack of opportunities. Cincinnati was unable to score on an extended 5-on-3 power play that lasted nearly a minute and a half. Maxime Clermont stopped all 15 shots his faced through the first and Cincinnati goaltender Chet Pickard was perfect on the seven shots fired by the K-Wings.

Finally breaking through on the scoreboard, a quick wrist shot from Dave Leaderer (5th) gave the Cyclones a 1-0 advantage 12:14 into the second period.

Kalamazoo pulled even midway in the third period, when on a line change, Brent Clarke (1st) stepped onto the ice to intercept a blue-line pass and bury a slap shot past Pickard.

Getting the crowd of 3,572 into a frenzy, Bryan Haczyk (11th) lifted a backhander with under a minute remaining to give the K-Wings their lone lead of the night; however, the K-Wings celebration was short lived.

Just 33 seconds after Haczyk put Kalamazoo up 2-1, Cincinnati, with Pickard pulled for an extra skater, responded with a rebound equalizer from Mathieu Aubin (17th) to force overtime.

Early in overtime, Kalamazoo was whistled for too many men on the ice and the penalty would be costly. In the ensuing power-play, Cincinnati’s Taylor Aronson (2nd) rocketed a shot over the shoulder of Clermont for the game-winner 2:24 into the extra session.

With 42 saves, Clermont (7-5-1-0) established a new personal career-best and season-high for Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo will travel to the WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia tomorrow, Saturday, January 28th for a 7:35 p.m. battle against Wheeling Nailers.

The K-Wings will return to Wings Stadium this Sunday, January 29th with a 4 p.m. face-off versus the Reading Royals during a Family Hockey Day in the ‘ZOO, presented by Meijer, Pepsi, Charter Media and the Kalamazoo Gazette. During all Family Hockey Day’s in the ‘ZOO all kids eat FREE. Also during Sunday games, fans can participate in a FREE post-game skate with the players (skate rental additional), and the first 500 kids will receive a FREE giveaway, which for January 29th will be a Pepsi Lunch Bag.

This Sunday will coincide with Star Wars Night. Characters from the movie will be roaming the concourse before and during the game. Fans are encouraged to dress as their favorite Star Wars characters for a chance to win $100 in a costume contest for both adults and kids.

January 29th could also be the 1,000th career game for forward Kory Karlander. The 17-year veteran, who has played 378 games in a K-Wings uniform, enters tomorrow, just two games shy of the milestone.

Tickets for all K-Wings home games are $12.90 and $16.90 for adults and only $6.90 for kids ages 12 and under. The price for all K-Wings premium night games (all colored ice games and New Year’s Eve game) are just $1 more. Fans can save money by purchasing K-Wings single game tickets in advance because tickets purchased on the day of a game increase by $1.

Submitted by Mike Modugno

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