BONAR SENSATIONAL, CYCLONES TOP GLADIATORS, 4-1
Sean Bonar's best performance in a Cyclones jersey came against his former team, as the net minder made 30 saves en route to a 4-1 Cyclones win over the Atlanta Gladiators inside Heritage Bank Center Wednesday night.
The Cyclones inch closer to first place with their fifth straight win, improving to 20-11-1-0. The team is riding a nine game point streak, going 8-0-1-0 in the process. Atlanta sees a four game win streak get snapped as they fall to 16-14-2-1 on the season.
- The Cyclones outshot Atlanta, 11-5 in the first period, but were snakebitten by the superb play of goaltender Tyler Parks. After Justin Vaive finished serving a minor penalty, the captain raced out of the box and collected a pass from Lincoln Griffin for a breakaway. Parks made the save, but the puck was airborne in the crease for a crashing Dajon Mingo to swing his stuck and knock it into the net out of mid-air for the 1-0 advantage with 1:27 to play in the first.
- Cincinnati doubled its lead at the 10:09 mark of period two as a result of Vaive's hustle yet again. With Vaive streaking down the left wing, the captain pushed the puck on Parks, leaving a rebound for Cody Caron to stuff home his first professional goal.
- To this point, Bonar had already made a plethora of quality stops, including breakaway saves on Mike Pelech, Mitchell Hoelscher, and Kameron Kielly.
- Atlanta pulled within a goal shortly after killing a penalty to begin the third period when Hoelscher slipped a puck under the far leg of Bonar to end the shutout bid of the former Gladiator 1:53 into the third.
- The Gladiators followed with two power play opportunities in the third, but failed to solve Bonar again. Following Cincinnati's final penalty kill, Griffin and Gino Esteves darted ahead for an odd man rush that ended with Esteves beating Parks with a wrist shot inside the right circle for the 3-1 advantage with 6:02 to play. Louie Caporusso, who had an assist on Esteves' goal, converted in the final minute of the game on an empty net to complete the 4-1 win.
- In addition to his first pro goal, Caron dropped the gloves during the opening period with Atlanta's Malcolm Hayes. The Gladiators defenseman fought again in the third period as he engaged in a grappling match with Graeme Brown. The Cyclones have 22 fighting majors on the season.
- Bonar earned the win with 30 saves in goal and is 5-3-0 on the season and 5-2-0 as a member of the 'Clones. Parks suffered the loss with 26 saves in what was one of the better goaltending duels this season.
"I've played for a lot of ECHL teams, but Atlanta was definitely my home for three and a half years" said Bonar, who played in 97 games for the Gladiators from 2017-20. "It definitely was nice to play well against them. A lot of guys that they're missing right now are some of my really close friends from there, so it's a little disappointing to not beat them too, but it was still really fun for sure."
The Cyclones will look to extend their season best win streak to six games Saturday night when they head to Kalamazoo for a matchup with the Wings.
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