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Cyclones fall to South Carolina, 4-1
CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- A pair of goals by Jack Downing proved to be the difference as the Cincinnati Cyclones (23-11-1-1) fell to the South Carolina Stingrays (26-9-1-2) by a 4-1 final score in front of 5,793 at U.S. Bank Arena on Friday night. Hometown hero and Cyclones fan Josh Hutcherson, one of the stars of the popular Hunger Games franchise, was on hand to drop the ceremonial first puck on his very own bobblehead night. Unfortunately for Hutcherson and the home crowd, the Cyclones dropped their second straight game in a battle against the top team in the Eastern Conference. Goaltender Allen York (W, 23 saves, 4-3-0-0), who turned aside 23 of the 24 shots he faced, also recorded an assist in his debut for the Rays.
The Stingrays drew first blood when Peter Boyd connected with Jack Downing, who promptly buried his seventh of the season at 12:33. Although the home team successfully killed a late-period penalty and survived two minutes of four-on-four hockey, they were outshot 13-5 in the frame and headed into the first intermission with a one-goal deficit.
When Trevor Lewis was called for tripping in the second stanza, the Rays cashed in on the power play opportunity as Downing recorded his second of the night at 6:41. Later in the period, the Cyclones nearly got on the board when a shot from the blue line squeaked past York and through the crease. Although the goal light came on, the tally was waived off because it never fully crossed the line. The period would end in favor of South Carolina, 2-0
The Cyclones started the final frame on the power play, but just 28 seconds in, Patrick Gaul scored shorthanded when he went five-hole on Joe Howe (L, 26 saves, 7-1-1-0). The home team felt a spark of life, however, when defenseman Zach Miskovic went top-shelf and buried his second lamplighter of the season at 7:41. Unfortunately, the tally wasnt enough for the Cyclones and the Rays answered with a goal of their own at 13:39; Wayne Simpson recorded his eleventh of the season on a breakaway to seal a 4-1 South Carolina victory.
Youve got to give [the Stingrays] credit, said Cyclones captain David MacDonald. I think they outworked us. I thought at times we were better than them, but we didnt play our best game and I thought they showed up.
[Miskovic] has been great for us since coming here, he added about his defensive line partner and the Cyclones long goal scorer of the night. He brings that leadership and he plays a good game out there. The longer we can keep him, the better.
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