CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Cincinnati Cyclones (35-17-4-2) moved into a tie for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a 7-4 win over the Trenton Titans (22-27-4-4) on Tuesday night in front of 2,036 at U.S. Bank Arena. Four Cyclones players registered multi-point games in the victory, including Josh Shalla who earned his first career hat trick.
Stephen Schultz gave Trenton an early lead when he sent a slap shot from the left side past Cincinnati goaltender Michael Houser (W, 30 saves, 11-5-0) during a power play just 2:58 into the opening frame. Minutes later, though, Cyclones defenseman Taylor Ellington lit the lamp with a blast of his own at 6:37 to even the score at one goal apiece. Only 1:05 later, Shalla gave Cincinnati a 2-1 advantage with a one-timer from the right circle after receiving a Jack MacLellan pass. Shalla got his second goal of the evening with 3:52 left in the first when he knocked in a rebound past Trenton net minder Scott Wedgewood (L, 20 saves, 16-20-3-2). The three straight goals would give the Cyclones a 3-1 cushion heading into the locker room for the first intermission.
David MacDonald pushed the Cincinnati edge to three goals on his first tally of the night when he cut in front of Jacob Cepis for a loose puck and broke toward Wedgewood, slipping it past the Trenton backstop. Trenton pulled back to within a pair at 7:07 of the middle stanza as Jesse Todd fired a wrist shot past Houser off a face-off from the left circle. The Cyclones held on to their 4-2 lead for the remainder of the penalty filled period.
Just 4:43 into the final frame, Shalla notched his third goal (the eventual game-winner) when he received a cross-ice pass from Trevor Lewis and caught just enough of the puck to get it past Wedgewood and over the goal line – giving the Cyclones a 5-2 edge. The teams would each trade two more goals; Cepis and Schultz lit the lamp for the Titans while MacDonald and Dan Eves added lamplighters for Cincinnati. The Cyclones went on to win by a 7-4 final and pulled into a tie with Reading for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Cyclones Radio Network Stars of the Game are as follows:
First Star: Josh Shalla (3 goals, game winning goal for Cincinnati)
Second Star: David MacDonald (2 goals, 1 assist for Cincinnati)
Third Star: Stephen Schultz (2 goals for Trenton)
Cincinnati will head north on Friday to take on the Kalamazoo Wings at 7:30pm. Fans can hear all the action from Wings Stadium on the Cyclones Radio Network (FM 100 The FAN, America One, CyclonesHockey.com) starting at 7:10pm.
The Cyclones will return to the ice at U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday, February 26 when they host the Kalamazoo Wings at 7:30pm! The first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive a Puckchop Bobblehead courtesy of The Plastic Surgery Group.