Wheeling Ends January 6-1 at Home
On Sunday afternoon, the Wheeling Nailers saw a couple of streaks end, as they played host to the Cincinnati Cyclones at WesBanco Arena. Cincinnati scored once in each of the first two periods, then twice in the third, en route to a 4-2 victory over the Nailers. The setback ended Wheeling’s five-game home winning streak, as well as their four-game point streak.
The Cyclones opened the scoring at the 3:17 mark of the first period. Mathieu Aubin picked up the puck in the slot, before feeding Michael Pelech on the left side of the crease. Pelech took advantage of Wheeling scrambling around, potting the lone goal of the frame.
Midway through the second, the visitors added to their lead. Pelech stole the puck in the offensive zone, handing the puck to linemate Matt Smyth. Smyth made one more pass, setting up Dan Eves, who wristed in a shot from the left circle for a 2-0 Cincinnati lead after two periods of play.
The Nailers got on the board at the 10:46 mark of the third period. Zack Torquato blasted a shot toward the net that was blocked in front. However, the rebound came free to Chris Barton, who flipped it into the back of the net, giving him 21 points in 21 games. However, the Cyclones had a quick answer, as Matt Smyth finished off Trevor Lewis’ centering pass, 22 seconds later. With 2:49 left in the game, Cincinnati took a 4-1 advantage, as Mathieu Aubin picked the top corner of the goal from the top of the left circle. 30 seconds after that, Torquato brought Wheeling to within one, putting a wrist shot just inside of the right post, making the final score 4-2, in favor of the Cyclones.
Zoltan Hetenyi picked up the win for Cincinnati, making 26 saves on 28 shots. Scott Darling took the loss for Wheeling, stopping 21 of the 25 shots he faced.
The Nailers will begin a home-and-home series with the Reading Royals on Wednesday at 7:05 from Sovereign Center, before returning to WesBanco Arena on Friday night at 7:00.