WHEELING, W.Va.- A flurry of goals to start the second period allowed Cincinnati to take a lead it wouldn’t relinquish as the Cyclones downed the Nailers by a 5-4 score.
With Wheeling ahead 2-0 on just the team’s second and third shots, it seemed Wheeling had control of the momentum despite being outshot by a 10-4 margin. Then penalty trouble would cost Wheeling as Cincinnati scored three powerplay goals in route to scoring five unanswered goals to end period one and start period 2.
“….especially after playing really well having two goals; having a two-goal lead get you through the first period up two. That’s kind of one of those experiences where you can’t let a team hang around, and you give them one, you give them some life, and then you take another penalty to end the first, and all of a sudden, you’re back in the soup.” Nailers Head Coach Derek Army stated after the game, “We got to be smart we got to be disciplined in those situations and not giving a team life, and I think that’s what we did again today, which was maybe our downfall.”
The first strike was a rebound stuff by Dominic Franco, who ended the night with two goals and two assists. The rebound bounced out behind Nailer netminder Evan Moyse, and Franco found it to put it in at 16:51 of the first on the powerplay. As Army mentioned, a cross-checking call at the 20:00 mark of the first against Nick Hutchison put Wheeling on the kill to begin the second period. At 1:05, on a delayed penalty call, Franco would get the puck in the slot and slide the puck in between Moyse’s legs and in tying the game at two. Tyler Drevitch was called for a trip on the play so the Cyclone’s powerplay would continue. This time, Wyatt Ege gave the visitors the lead at 2:39 as his shot would squeeze between Moyse’s arm and body and into the net.
The momentum would continue for Cincinnati as just 0:52 seconds later, Graham Knott would put the Cyclones up by two, and then at 7:21 of the second, Jesse Schultz would provide the eventual game-winner as he roofed a rebound past Moyse.
The Nailers tried to battle back by scoring twice in the second frame, the first by Patrick Watling, who had another multigoal game for Wheeling and Alex Stevens with a goal as well just 1:13 after Watling’s second of the game. The Nailers couldn’t seem to find the tying goal despite having many scoring chances down the stretch.
“I thought Cincinnati really battened down the hatches in the third,” Army stated when asked about the defensive play of the Cyclones in the third.
“I think maybe our group last year at 5-2, it’s over, but I think it’s a credit to the leadership and the guys in there [locker room] to battle and keep going and just find a way to stay alive, and I think that’s what we saw in Wichita and that’s what we’ve seen throughout the year.” Army stated about the resiliency in this year’s team.
Just after the buzzer to end the first period, an altercation began with some pushing and shoving in front of the benches that escalated quickly into three separate fights resulting in three players from each team receiving five minutes for fighting and game misconduct for fighting outside the period of play. Stay with Field Pass Hockey to see if any supplemental discipline from the ECHL will result.
The Nailers are back in action tomorrow at 4:05 against the Ft Wayne Komets at WesBanco Arena. The Cyclones’ next contest is Friday, November 19th, when they visit the Atlanta Gladiators for a 7:30 pm puck drop.
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