CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Cincinnati Cyclones (33-17-4-2) extended their lead in the North Division standings with a 3-1 victory over the Wheeling Nailers (22-22-3-6) in front of 7,964 at U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday night.
After more than 24 minutes of scoreless hockey the Cyclones lit the lamp first. At 4:37 into the second, captain Mathieu Aubin tipped in a David MacDonald slap shot from just inside the blue line to give the home team a 1-0 edge. At the 11:48 mark, Dan Eves extended the Cincinnati lead to two by lifting a shot over the right leg pad of Wheeling goalie Scott Darling (L, 25 saves, 9-10-1-1). The Nailers quickly answered back when Matt Germain received a Gentry Zollars pass in the slot and slipped the puck past the stick side of Cyclones net minder Michael Houser (W, 29 saves, 9-5-0). Cincinnati would head to the locker room for the second intermission with a 2-1 advantage.
On a Cincinnati power play, rookie Jack MacLellan tallied his first goal as a Cyclone at 4:46 into the final frame on a backhander through the legs of Darling to give his team a two-goal lead. Wheeling had several shots turned away by Houser during the final minutes of the game and were not able to make a comeback as the Cyclones held on for a 3-1 final score.
The Cyclones Radio Network Stars of the Game are as follows:
First Star: Michael Houser (29 saves, game winning goaltender for Cincinnati)
Second Star: Dan Eves (1 goal, game winning goal for Cincinnati)
Third Star: Mathieu Aubin (1 goal for Cincinnati)
Cincinnati will close out their three-game weekend tomorrow afternoon in Toledo at 5:05pm. Fans can hear all the action from the Huntington Center at 4:45pm on the Cyclones Radio Network (FM 100 The FAN / America One / CyclonesHockey.com) or WATCH live at Game Time Sports Bar and Grill!
The Cyclones will return to the ice at U.S. Bank Arena on Tuesday, February 26 when they welcome in the Trenton Titans at 7:30pm.