For Immediate Release: February 24, 2016



Cincinnati Pulls to Within Two Points of Division Lead


CINCINNATI, OH- The Cincinnati Cyclones (28-20-3-2) picked up a 5-2 win over the Atlanta Gladiators on Wednesday night. Forward Joe Pendenza potted a pair of goals, while forwards Branden Gracel, Christiaan Minella, and Jack Downing netted lone tallies for Cincinnati, who now sits just two points back of the Division-leading Ft. Wayne Komets.

The Cyclones withstood a strong attack from the Gladiators in the opening period, and drew first blood late in the frame, when a shot from forward Tommy Mele was turned aside by Atlanta goaltender Matt Ginn, but Gracel was there to deflect in the rebound, giving the Cyclones a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.

After the Gladiators tied the game on the power play on a goal from Max Everson, 2:02 into the second, the Cyclones regained the lead midway through the frame, when a clearing attempt from Atlanta defenseman Kevin Albers deflected off of the foot of Minella and into the net, giving the Cyclones a 2-1 edge.

That lead became 3-1 a couple of minutes later, when Downing came down the right wing on a 2-on-1 rush and sent a cross-ice feed to Pendenza who rifled it past Ginn, 16:07 into the second.

Atlanta pulled to back within a goal with less than two minutes left in the period, when forward Shawn Bates fired a wrister that beat Cyclones goaltender Andy Iles, cutting Cincinnati’s lead to 3-2 after two periods.

The two teams turned up the physical intensity in the third, exchanging a number of big hits, and some after-whistle extra circulars in the final frame. Midway through, Cincinnati received that all-important insurance goal when forward Andrew Yogan found Downing in the neutral zone, and he skated around an Atlanta defender, walked in on a breakaway, and tucked the puck around Ginn and into the net, giving Cincinnati a 4-2 lead.

Cincinnati capped off their big win with a minute left and Atlanta’s goalie pulled, when Pendenza stole the puck in the defensive zone and skated down the ice and fired it into the empty net, sealing the 5-2 win for the Cyclones.

The Cyclones were outshot, 27-23 on the evening, with Iles stopping 25 to collect his tenth win as a Cyclone. Cincinnati returns to home ice on Friday night when they welcome in the Tulsa Oilers. Faceoff is slated for 7:35pm ET.


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