The Cincinnati Cyclones opened the 2022-23 ECHL season with a quick start and a convincing 7-2 victory over the Fort Wayne Komets on the road Saturday night.
- Newcomer Matt Berry wasted no time beginning his Cyclones journey after leaving Toledo in the offseason. The talented winger collected the puck for a breakaway where he shot over the glove side of Komets net minder Colton Point 63 seconds into the game to give Cincinnati the 1-0 edge.
- Matt McLeod followed-up Berry's tally with a breakaway of his own. After receiving a stretch pass from defenseman Zach Berzolla, McLeod cut in from the right side to shuffle a puck between the legs of Point 8:14 into the first to double the 'Clones lead.
- Beck Warm helped the Cyclones cause, especially in the first period with a 16-save performance. Warm turned aside 39 of 41 shots overall to pick up his first win in a Cyclones jersey.
- Anthony Petruzzelli briefly cut Fort Wayne's deficit in half on a power play goal early in the second, but the Cyclones responded with a trio of middle period goals.
- Cyclones captain Justin Vaive, along with rookie Phil Lagunov scored 54 seconds apart to make it a 4-1 lead. Vaive's first of the season came on the power play. With a scrum in front of the net, Vaive managed to get a piece of the puck, knocking it underneath Point and in. Less than a minute later, Lagunov laced the puck to his backhand, rocketing it in the back of the net for his first professional goal to make it 4-1 Cincinnati just 6:01 into the second period.
- Lee Lapid joined Lagunov as a fellow rookie scoring his first pro goal. After intercepting a puck through the neutral zone, Lapid walked into the high slot and shot a puck that leaked between Point's legs to make it 5-1 with 13:09 to play in the second.
- Saturday's third period saw a shift in the game. With chaos ensuing on both sides, the Cyclones racked up 65 penalty minutes in the games final frame, and 73 total. Patrick Polino had his first career fighting major, while Arvin Atwal led the 'Clones with 24 penalty minutes.
- In the midst of a penalty-filled period, the Cyclones got a power play goal from Patrick Polino and a late tally from Jalen Smereck, who was skating in his first ECHL game since February 1, 2020.
- Cincinnati continues its season with game two of a three game road trip Wednesday morning against the Kalamazoo Wings.