JOSH PASSOLT STRIKES IN OT! CYCLONES TOP NAILERS, 4-3
Another Cyclones third period rally forced overtime, where Josh Passolt scored 3:54 into three-on-three, lifting Cincinnati to a 4-3 win over the Nailers in Wheeling.
Through 32 games, the Cyclones have 20 wins and the third fewest regulation losses in the ECHL with a record of 20-6-4-2. They remain three points back of first in the Central Division, while the Nailers fall to 17-16-2-0.
- Both teams traded power play goals in the first period, beginning with Cedric Desruisseaux who beat Beck Warm through traffic while Lee Lapid was in the box of high-sticking.
- Patrick Polino (8) answered back for Cincinnati five minutes later at the 17:35 mark. Wheeling was down two skaters due to a bench minor penalty and Samuel Tremblay serving a holding penalty on top of his fighting major with Justin Vaive. The Nailers killed their two man disadvantage, but while on a five-on-four, Polino stepped through the left side and ripped a shot over the shoulder of Brad Barone, tying the game, 1-1.
- The second period saw a combined 59 penalty minutes called in the first 8:10 of the frame. The infraction frenzy was capped off with Peter Laviolette III using an illegal check to the head of Cincinnati's Kohen Olischefski, resulting in the Nailers forward getting a game misconduct. Though the 'Clones put 14 shots on goal during the second, they were unable to score on the five-minute power play, and less than three minutes after the man advantage ended, Gino Esteves scored against his former team, jumping into the crease of Warm to score the go-ahead goal that made it 2-1 Nailers.
- Vaive (15) got the third started with an emphatic, game-tying goal 36 seconds in. A point shot from Matt Berry was knocked down in front for the captain to twirl it in past Barone. The game was tied for just 40 seconds though, as Bobby Hampton got a fortuitous bounce on a shot that went off a player in front of Warm, putting the Cyclones back down, 3-2.
- After picking up an assist earlier in the frame, Berry (8) blasted another tying goal by Barone 4:32 into the third.
- Berry finished the night with three points (1 goal, 2 assists) and has 20 points in his last 15 games. His goal helped set the stage for overtime, where off a face-off, Berry immediately sent a puck onto Passolt's (12) stick, where the rookie winger whipped a shot top-shelf 3:54 into three-on-three to get the Cyclones their 20th win of the season.
- Warm picked up his 14th win of the season with 28 saves, including a myriad of breakaway stops, including one in overtime on Bunz, while Desruisseaux had a shot hit off the crossbar.
- Cincinnati plays its last game before the All-Star break Sunday evening on the road against Toledo.
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