Cyclones Reclaim First Place by Beating Nailers 2-1
CINCINNATI, Ohio – Ryan Del Monte and Matt Pierce each scored their first goals since coming back from Rochester, leading the Cincinnati Cyclones (11-9-5-2) to a 2-1 win over the Wheeling Nailers (14-11-0-0) in front of 2,367 at U.S. Bank Arena on Friday night. With the victory, Cincinnati regained the top spot in the North Division standings.
Wheeling jumped out front just 27 seconds into the game as Mikael Bedard sped into the Cincinnati zone and fed Alexander Smigelski, who deked by Cyclones goalie Marc Cheverie (W, 21 saves, 10-5-2-2) and slid it into the net for a 1-0 lead. Luckily, the lead didn’t last long as Ryan Del Monte buried a wrist shot through the legs of Nailers netminder Patrick Killeen (L, 24 saves, 11-5-0-0) at 2:27 to knot the score at one.
The Cyclones grabbed the lead at the 6:20 mark of period two when Matt Pierce caught a saucer pass from Barret Ehgoetz during a two-on-one break and potted his fifth goal of the season for a 2-1 lead. Little did they know it then, but it turned out to be the game-winning tally.
In the final minutes, Wheeling pulled Killeen from the net to utilize an extra attacker but the Cyclones were able to hold strong and pick up the victory – vaulting them back into first place in the North Division standings, just one point ahead of the Nailers.
The Cyclones Radio Network Three Stars of the Game are as follows:
1. Matt Pierce (Game-winning goal for Cincinnati)
2. Ryan Del Monte (Goal for Cincinnati)
3. Marc Cheverie (21 saves for Cincinnati)
The defending Kelly Cup Champions will wrap up their two-game weekend set against the Nailers tomorrow night at U.S. Bank Arena with the puck dropping at 7:30pm. Tomorrow night is the annual Cyclones Teddy Bear Toss, which will benefit Lighthouse Youth Services. Fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently-loved teddy bear to be thrown on the ice after the Cyclones first goal. In addition to that and $1 Donatos Pizza, the first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive a 2011 Cyclones Calendar. Discounted ticket packages and single game tickets for the 2010-2011 season are available now. For more information, call 513.421.PUCK (7825) or visit CyclonesHockey.com.
Click here for tonight’s box score.