CINCINNATI, Ohio – Second-year forward Dustin Gazely potted a pair of goals and added an assist as the Elmira Jackals (13-13-1-2) hung on to win by a 4-3 final score over the Cincinnati Cyclones (17-9-2-0) in front of 4,906 at U.S. Bank Arena on Thursday night.
The Cyclones got the scoring started in the game on captain Mathieu Aubin’s fifth goal of the year. Just 5:37 into the opening period Mike Pelech sent a pass in front of the Jackal goal to Aubin who flipped a shot by goaltender Maxime Clermont (W, 27 saves, 4-5-1-1), giving his team the 1-0 lead. And thanks to some solid defense the rest of the way, Cincinnati took the one goal edge at the end of one period.
Coming out of the first intermission it didn’t take long for Elmira to get on the scoreboard. Forward Dustin Gazely found himself on a breakaway just 3:36 into the middle stanza and was able to beat Cyclones goalie Michael Houser (L, 38 saves, 2-1-0), tying the game at one goal apiece. Elmira took the lead just a few minutes later as Houser blocked a Gazely shot, but the rebound went straight to Andrew Rowe who lit the lamp with a wrist shot from the right circle. Then, Gazely knocked in his second goal of the night with 6:17 remaining in the period to extend the Jackals lead to 3-1. Cincinnati would cut the Elmira advantage to one at 15:53 on Anthony Bitetto’s first professional goal - a backhander in front of the net past the glove side of Clermont.
Just 3:10 into the final period Elmira extended their cushion to 4-2 when Chaz Johnson slid in a rebound left in the Cincinnati goal crease. Jarrod Skalde’s team would make it a game, though, at the 13:45 mark; the Cyclones again pulled within a single tally as Anthony Luciani fed Garrett Wilson with a pass after Clermont misplayed the puck behind his own net and was unable to recover in time to stop the Wilson shot. Cincinnati scrambled in the last few minutes to try and tie the game, but Clermont denied several great shots, preventing the tie and gave his team a 4-3 win.
The Cyclones Radio Network Stars of the Game are as follows:
First Star: Dustin Gazley (2 goals, 1 assist for Elmira)
Second Star: Andrew Rowe (1 goal, 1 assist for Elmira)
Third Star: Mathieu Aubin (1 goal for Cincinnati)
Cincinnati will now embark on a three-game road trip beginning tomorrow night in Toledo. The Cyclones and Walleye will meet at Huntington Center at 7:05pm with pre game coverage on the Cyclones Radio Network (CyclonesHockey.com/America One/Cyclones Mobile App) beginning at 6:45pm.
The Cyclones will return to the ice at U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday, January 5 when they play host to the Fort Wayne Komets at 7:30pm.