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Nailers blank Cyclones, 3-0
CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- Redirected shots and special teams play proved to be the difference as the Cincinnati Cyclones (10-6-0-0) fell to the Wheeling Nailers (9-5-0-2) by a 3-0 final score in front of 4,279 at U.S. Bank Arena on Wednesday night. The home team had no problem firing the puck as they outshot their Atlantic Division foe 38-23 in the tilt. But the bounces didn't go the Cyclones' way and the visitors successfully killed six penalties, giving them their second straight victory in Cincinnati and a 2-1 series lead on the season.
Goaltender Mike Condon (W, 38 saves, 7-3-0-1) backstopped his way to his first professional shutout, turning aside all of the 38 shots he faced in the contest.
Similar to Sunday's matchup, the Nailers' leading point scorer, Zack Torquato, made the Cyclones pay early. Shortly after Anthony Luciani was whistled for crosschecking, Torquato scored his sixth goal of the season on a redirected shot from Jake Areshenko that made its way past Michael Houser (L, 20 saves, 2-3-0-0) at 10:12. Although the Cyclones had a couple good looks at the net during a power play opportunity late in the frame, they entered the first intermission outshooting the Nailers 11-7, but trailing by one.
The Nailers extended their lead at 15:16 of the second stanza when Max MacKay tipped in his third goal of the season on a redirected wrist shot from the blue line by Matt Grassi. Torquato, who has points in six consecutive games, earned his 19th point of the season with the secondary assist on the goal. The Cyclones again outshot the Nailers in the frame (this time by a margin of 13-7), but were unable to find the back of the net.
The Cyclones continued to test Condon in the final period, but the netminder stayed strong between the pipes for the duration of the game. The visitors secured the win when Scott Zurevinski scored off a faceoff deep in the Cyclones zone at 15:08.
"We got a lot of shots, but at the end of the day, we have to put the puck in the net," said Cyclones captain David MacDonald. "We've got to bear down defensively. We've got to help Houser out a bit more...There's still work to be done. We've got to work on some things, tighten some things up, and get ready to go."
Information and photo courtesy Cincinnati Cyclones