RECAP: CYCLONES UNABLE TO CONTAIN WALLEYE IN REGULAR SEASON HOME FINALE
For Immediate Release: April 2, 2016
CYCLONES UNABLE TO CONTAIN WALLEYE IN REGULAR SEASON HOME FINALE
Walleye’s Rankin Leads Offense with Five Goals
Cincinnati, OH- The Cincinnati Cyclones (35-26-5-4) were defeated by the Toledo Walleye in Saturday night’s regular season home finale by a score of 7-3. Defenseman Garrett Noonan lit the lamp once and forward Tommy Mele scored twice for the Cyclones, who sit in seventh place in the Western Conference with two games left to play in the regular season.
The Walleye struck early in the game, with forward Evan Rankin able to take the puck from Cincinnati after the stick of Cyclones defenseman Jonathan Diaby shattered, giving Rankin an open lane to the net and scoring, putting Toledo up, 1-0. In the latter half of the period, Rankin found the back of the net again, beating a defender in front of the net to the edge and sneaking the puck past goaltender Andy Iles, giving the visitors a 2-0 lead after the first.
On a power-play five minutes into the second frame, Toledo scored again, taking a 3-0 advantage, this time deposited by former Cyclone forward Josh Shalla. The Cyclones brought the pressure in the period and had chance after chance to score, but could not capitalize on the opportunities, and the Walleye took their 3-0 lead into the final frame.
Less than two minutes into the third, Toledo forward Dominic Zombo slapped at the puck while tangled up with Cyclones defenseman Garrett Noonan, which somehow snuck through and into the net, giving the Walleye a 4-0 edge. Midway through the period, Rankin found the net yet again, giving him a hat trick for the game.
Thanks to outstanding individual efforts, Cincinnati got on the board twice in a span of two minutes, with Noonan taking the puck in from the blue line, beating a defender and potting an odd-angle goal, while Mele was found all alone in the slot on a power-play and buried the puck in the back of the cage, making it a 5-2 game. However, 12 seconds after Mele’s, Rankin netted his fourth goal of the night.
Two minutes later, Rankin added his fifth goal of the night to bring the score to 7-2. Late in the game, Mele hit the multi-goal mark, as well, skating through two pairs of defenders and blowing a shot by the goalie, bringing the tally to 7-3.
The Cyclones outshot Toledo, 32-25, with Iles coming away with 18 saves in the defeat. The Cyclones will finish out the regular season slate on the road next weekend, as they head to Quad City for a two-game weekend series starting Friday, April 8. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:05 PM.
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