GRIFFIN PLAYS HERO NETTING HAT TRICK IN 'CLONES WIN
Lincoln Griffin registered his first career hat trick and the Cyclones broke a five game losing skid in a big way, dominating the Wheeling Nailers in a 7-2 game inside Heritage Bank Center.
The Cyclones improve to 21-16-1-0 on the season. Wheeling gets handed a loss for the third time in its last four games, going to 19-17-1-0.
- The Cyclones went a franchise record-137:03 in-between goals before Griffin gave the team its first of the game. Over 15 minutes into the opening period, Griffin received a pass from Jesse Schultz on an odd-man rush, wiring the puck behind Nailers goaltender Stefanos Lekkas for the 1-0 advantage.
- Tim Doherty tied the game for Wheeling before the first came to a close, but Cincinnati responded with three goal periods in both the second and third.
- Schultz nabbed a loose puck sitting in the crease 4:13 into the middle period to get his eighth of the season and make it 2-1. Griffin scored his second and third goals of the night during the same period, first lifting a puck by Lekkas to make it 3-1 and following a Shaw Boomhower goal later in the period, Griffin again saw the back of the cage on a cross-ice pass to fling home his 11th of the season and first career hat trick 17:51 into the period.
- Griffin became the second Cyclones player to register a hat trick this season, joining Yushiroh Hirano who also scored three goals against Wheeling back on December 8.
- With a power play to start the third, Wyatt Ege cranked a one-timer from the left circle inside the opening minute to make it 5-2. Louie Caporusso scored 7:31 into the third after newcomer Jackson Lee spun a pass in-between the face-off circles to the Cyclones veteran. Gino Esteves slammed home the game's final goal an even 15 minutes into the period, intercepting the puck for a 2-on-1 the other way to make it 7-2.
- The two teams combined for 88 penalty minutes on the night. Cincinnati killed off all five power plays faced, including 1:27 of a 5-on-3 advantage for the Nailers during the third period. Cody Caron dropped the gloves with Jake Flegel in the second period, with Flegel being flagged down for instigating and tabbed for a game misconduct. Dajon Mingo and Shaw Boomhower engaged in a fight during the third period. Justin Vaive and Nick Hutchison were both ejected from the game on misconducts late in the contest.
- Sean Bonar picks up his sixth win in a Cyclones jersey, making 31 saves. Lekkas took the loss with a 23 save effort.
The Cyclones look to make it two wins in a row as they close out January on Saturday night against the Indy Fuel.
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