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Cyclones drop regular season home finale, 5-0
CINCINNATI, Ohio (WKRC) -- Former Cyclone Christiaan Minella struck twice and Wheelings special teams units came through as the Nailers (39-27-1-5) defeated the Cyclones (40-23-4-4) by a 5-0 final score in front of 6,673 at U.S. Bank Arena on Saturdays Fan Appreciation Night. After topping the Nailers last night by a 6-3 margin, the Cyclones were shut out for only the fourth time this season and the third time by Wheeling. Goaltender Mike Condon (W, 45 saves, 23-12-0-4) was sharp between the pipes, stopping all 45 of the shots he faced in the tilt and earning his sixth shutout of the season.
Unfortunately for the home crowd, the visitors drew first blood in a physical first period. After Taylor Aronson was called for high-sticking, Sahir Gill, Wheelings active leader in points, made Cincinnati pay when he buried a rebound and his 13th tally of the season at 16:12. The chippy play continued for the remainder of the frame and the Cyclones entered the first intermission trailing by one, despite outshooting the Nailers, 11-9.
Wheelings special teams unit struck again in the middle stanza when Derek Army converted his second goal of the season on the power play at 14:04. The visitors quickly extended their lead to 3-0 when Minella beat Magnus Hellberg (L, 23 saves, 4-1-1-0) for his 12th of the year at 16:30. Although Cincinnati outshot them 27-19 through two periods, the Nailers carried their lead into the final frame.
The Cyclones began the third period with a power play opportunity, however, they were unable to capitalize on the chance. Wheeling found the back of the net again when Minella made his way through the left circle and sniped in his second of the game at 7:29. Shortly thereafter, the Cyclones appeared to score, but the goal was waived off because the play had been whistled dead for a penalty call. Wheeling recorded their fifth and final tally when Army notched his second of the tilt at 14:48, handing Cincinnati a loss in their last home game of the regular season.
The Cyclones will travel up I-75 tomorrow to close out the regular season against the Toledo Walleye. The teams will drop the puck at 5:15pm with pre game coverage from the Huntington Center starting on the Cyclones Radio Network (CyclonesHockey.com, America One, Cyclones Mobile App) at 4:45pm.
Image and information provided by the Cincinnati Cyclones