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Cyclones win on opening night
CINCINNATI, Ohio (WKRC)-- Anthony Luciani lit the lamp twice in a wild second period as the Cincinnati Cyclones (1-0-0-0) defeated the Wheeling Nailers (1-1-0-0) by a 4-2 final score in the 2013-14 regular season opener at U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday night. Goaltender Scott Darling (W, 18 saves, 1-0-0-0) earned his first win in a Cyclones jersey as he played against his former team and turned aside 18 of 20 shots faced.
The Cyclones, who raised a 2013 North Division Champions banner before puck drop, put on quite a show for the 5,731 fans in attendance. After a scoreless first stanza, Luciani found the back of the net on a wraparound goal at 6:53 of the second period. 5:17 later, he scored again, this time on a breakaway - sliding the puck between the legs of goaltender Mike Condon (L, 23 saves, 1-1-0-0).
In addition to scoring the team's first two goals, Luciani also took part in a momentum-changing fight at 15:46 of the first period.
"I was putting on a show for the crowd," Luciani said of his bout. "First crowd, big cheer and you get the chills. We took it and ran."
At 16:10 of the second period, former Cyclone Jack MacLellan finally put the Nailers on the board. But 2:54 later, defenseman Taylor Aronson responded with what proved to be the game-winning goal, giving the Cyclones a two-goal advantage heading into the second intermission.
After the Nailers pulled Condon late in the third period, Ryan Flanigan scored his first goal of the season, cutting the Cyclones' lead to one. However, 28 seconds later, Paul Crowder, an assistant captain for the Nailers last year, scored an empty-net goal, sealing the first victory of the season for the Cyclones.
Cincinnati posted a strong defensive effort in the win, killing three total penalties, which included a 1:39 Nailer 5-on-3 power play at the end of the first and beginning of the second period.
Information provided by the Cincinnati Cyclones