Cyclones Explode for Six in Preseason Opener
For Immediate Release: October 7, 2015
CYCLONES EXPLODE FOR SIX IN PRESEASON OPENER
Offense on Display in Lone home Preseason Game
CINCINNATI, OH-The Cincinnati Cyclones earned a 6-1 win over the Wheeling Nailers on Wednesday night. It was the preseason opener for both teams. Forwards Branden Gracel, Eric Robinson, Jaynen Rissling, Zach Budish, and Christiaan Minella, and defenseman Mike Ratchuk scored the goals for the Cyclones, who scored six unanswered to end the game.
After the Nailers took a 1-0 lead after the first on a goal from Tyler Fernandez, the Cyclones wasted little time tying the game in the second. Just 47 seconds into the frame, defenseman Mikko Vainonen took a shot from the left point that bounced off goaltender Franky Palazzese right to Gracel who slammed home the rebound, pulling the cyclones even with the Nailers, 1-1.
The Cyclones took the lead late in the frame when Ratchuk intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and skated over the Wheeling blue line and fired a slap shot that beat new Nailers netminder Casey DeSmith, giving Cincinnati a 2-1 lead, 14:35 into the second.
The 2-1 score held up throughout the remainder of the second, and in the third, the Cyclones extended their lead to 3-1 when Robinson took a pass from forward Andrew Yogan and slipped it past DeSmith, 1:21 into the third.
That lead became 4-1 a few minutes later, when Rissling took a pass from forward Gabriel Levesque in the low slot and stick handled it around DeSmith and into the net, putting Cincinnati up by three, 10:50 into the final frame.
The Cyclones’ forward motion continued late in the period, when Budish tapped home a pass from forward Peter Quenneville after a give-and-go, pushing the Cyclones to a 5-1 advantage, 17:36 into the third.
Cincinnati rounded out the scoring with under a minute left in the contest, as Minella finished off a 2-on-1 rush with Rissling, sending the Cyclones to a 6-1 win.
“These preseason games are a great chance to see if we can have some chemistry and see some good line combinations, and some guys really had that tonight,” said Cyclones Head Coach Matt MacDonald. “Quenneville, Budish and [Nick] Huard looked really good together had some great chances, and it was also good to see some chemistry on the bench, as well.”
The two sides participated in the experimental 3-on-3 overtime period that is slated to be implemented for regular season ECHL games this season. No goals were scored in the extra session.
Cincinnati outshot Wheeling, 35-18, on the evening, and the Cyclones converted on one of their three chances. Cyclones netminder Brad Thiessen picked up the win for Cincinnati, stopping 17 of the 18 shots he faced. Palazzese and DeSmith combined to make 29 saves on 35 chances.
“It was good to get the rust off and get into a game,” said MacDonald. “We got a better feeling for things as the game went along, but we still have some things we need to work on and get better at.”
The Cyclones wrap up the preseason on Friday night, when they travel to Wheeling to battle the Nailers. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:30.
The countdown to the 2015-16 First Face-Off is underway! The Cyclones will return to U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday, October 17 when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:30pm. Between now and then, be on the lookout for several offseason events like Meijer Concrete Clones! 2015-16 Season Ticket Packages are available NOW! Call 513.421.PUCK to reserve your seats. Fans can also get the latest team updates throughout the offseason on Facebook, Twitter (@CincyCyclones), and Instagram!