CINCINNATI , Ohio – The Cincinnati Cyclones (1-0-0-0) got out to a thrilling start for the 2012-13 season with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Wheeling Nailers (0-0-0-1) in front of 5,365 at U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday night. Cincinnati goalie Brian Foster (W, 28 saves, 1-0-0) stopped all four shootout attempts by the Nailers while team captain Mathieu Aubin was able to find space to put the game winner past Nailers net minder Patrick Kileen (L, 26 saves, 0-0-0-1).
Cincinnati dominated the action in the first period, out shooting Wheeling 12-5. The Cyclones first goal of the season came on a power play late in the stanza when Garrett Wilson sent a backhand shot over the glove of Kileen at the 16:39 mark – giving the home team a 1-0 lead. David Pacan and Maury Edwards were credited with assists on the score.
The Cyclones extended their cushion to two for a short time in the middle frame. They again took advantage of a power play when Dan Eves sent home a Mike Pelech pass at 4:19 thanks a Nailers penalty. Wheeling struck back, however, to cut the score in half just a few minutes later when Paul Crowder lifted a puck past Foster at 9:15.
After successfully killing their first five penalties of the game, the Cyclones finally paid for their time in the box in the third period. Pelech was whistled for a hooking at 9:05, and 12 seconds later, Chris Barton potted the game-tying goal with a shot fired past Foster’s glove side and into the back of the net. Despite some tremendous chances from both sides in the final minutes, the game went into overtime knotted at two.
In the extra session, Cincinnati had several opportunities to win the game after a cross-checking penalty by Wheeling defenseman Peter Merth gave them a one man advantage. However, despite controlling the puck in Nailers’ zone for much of the power play, the Cyclones only managed to get three shots on goal and were unable to strike. After five additional minutes of scoreless hockey, the game was decided in a shootout.
Aubin and Brian O’Hanley each lit the lamp in the first two rounds of the shootout, while Foster was able to deny both Wheeling shooters. After a scoreless third round, the pressure was on Chris Barton to score in order to keep the game alive. And as he had the previous three times, Foster shut the door to seal a Cyclones 3-2 shootout victory.
Cincinnati was 2-for-9 on the power play while the Nailers were 1-for-5.
The Cyclones Radio Network Three Stars of the Game are as follows:
First Star: Mathieu Aubin (Game winning goal in the shootout, 1 assist for Cincinnati)
Second Star: Dan Eves (1 goal for Cincinnati)
Third Star: Brian Foster (28 saves for Cincinnati and 4 in the shootout)
With their first win in the books, the Cyclones will hit the road next Friday in search of back-to-back wins as they will battle the Toledo Walleye at the Huntington Center with a 7:05 opening face-off.