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Cyclones Soar Over Wings In Shootout, 4-3

December 7, 2012 | View Comments

Cyclones Soar Over Wings In Shootout, 4-3

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Cincinnati Cyclones (14-5-2-0) came from behind to win a game for the fifth time this season as they picked up a thrilling 4-3 shootout triumph over the Kalamazoo Wings (9-10-1-1) in front of 4,349 at U.S. Bank Arena on Friday night. The win was their second shootout victory in as many games. John McFarland had his second multi-goal effort in the last week, picking up a pair of tallies and a shootout goal.

After a relatively quiet opening few minutes of the game, John McFarland got the scoring started 14:24 into the first frame. He gained control of a puck in the neutral zone and began a two on one breakaway. Skating down the left side he sniped a wrist shot past Wings goaltender Joel Martin (SOL, 28 saves, 7-7-1-1). Kalamazoo struck back with just 1:04 left in the opening 20 minutes when forward Eric Kattelus fired a shot from the left circle over the right shoulder of Brian Foster (W, 25 saves, 11-0-2-0), off the crossbar and into the net. Although the Cyclones dominated the action, outshooting the Wings 18-5, the teams ended the first period deadlocked at one.

Kalamazoo broke the tie 13:56 into the middle stanza on another goal by Kattelus; he received a centering pass from Nick Sirota and was able to deke past Foster – who was diving forward trying to cover up the puck. Then, with only eight seconds left until the second intermission, the Wings extended their cushion to 3-1. Defenseman Adam Polesek was credited with the score after deflecting a Dustin Cloutier shot from between the circles. The Wings enjoyed a 3-1 edge after 40 minutes.

Just a few seconds after Francois Bouchard was sent to the penalty box for crosschecking early in the final period of regulation, Josh Birkholz grabbed a puck out of the air at center ice and found himself with no one between him and Martin. He sped toward the goal, decked to the right, and slipped a shot over the left pad of the Kalamazoo goalie, cutting the Wings lead to 3-2 on the Cyclones second shorthanded goal of the year. With 2:15 left in the period, McFarland evened up the game at 3-3 on a shot from the left circle that deflected off Martin’s pad and through his legs. With neither team netting a goal in the final minutes, the game was decided in the extra session.

Cincinnati had several opportunities to win the game in overtime as they outshot Kalamazoo 4-1 and spent two minutes on the power play when Wings forward Sam Ftorek was whistled for hooking. However, despite the attempts, they could not put the puck between the pipes and the teams headed to a shootout to declare the victory.

McFarland potted the first goal of the shootout in round two followed by the third and fourth of four straight stops from Foster. However, in round five, Kory Karlander snuck a shot through the legs of the Cincinnati net minder to even the shootout at one. The Wings came up empty on their sixth and seventh round attempts. But when Birkholz stepped to center ice for Cincinnati’s seventh offering, he found the twine; the rookie raced down the middle of the ice and lifted a puck over Martin’s pad for his first professional game-winning goal, sealing the Cyclones 4-3 shootout victory.

The Cyclones Radio Network Stars of the Game are as follows:

First Star: Josh Birkholz (1 goal, 1 game-winning goal in shootout)
Second Star: John McFarland (2 goals for Cincinnati)
Third Star: Brian Foster (Winning goaltender, 25 saves)

Cincinnati will wrap up its weekend on the ice tomorrow night when they travel to meet the Evansville IceMen at the Ford Center for a Saturday night battle. The opening face-off is slated for 8:15pm ET, with pre game coverage beginning on the Cyclones Radio Network (CyclonesHockey.com / America One / Cyclones Mobile App) at 7:55pm.

The Cyclones will return to the ice at U.S. Bank Arena on Wednesday, December 12 when they play host to the Florida Everblades at 7:30pm. In addition to Wet Wednesday, where fans can enjoy $1 PBR and Miller High Life, it will also be an Ugly Sweater Party – with fans encouraged to wear their best ugly holiday sweaters to the game. Cash prizes will be awarded! Call 513.421.PUCK or visit CyclonesHockey.com to reserve your seats! Fans can also get the latest team updates throughout the season on Facebook and Twitter (@CincyCyclones).

Click here for tonight's box score.

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