CINCINNATI, OH- The Wheeling Nailers had some great opportunities in Friday afternoon's game at US Bank Arena, but ran into a hot goaltender, as they fell 3-1 to the Cincinnati Cyclones. Derek Army gave Wheeling a 1-0 lead in the second period, before Cincinnati responded with three straight strikes, and got 32 saves from Jonas Johansson to prevail on home ice.
After a scoreless first period, the Nailers broke the deadlock at the 9:21 mark of the middle frame. Defenseman Jeff Taylor created the opportunity, by carrying the puck ahead on the left side of the ice. He proceeded to set up Derek Army, who skated into the slot, and buried a wrist shot over Jonas Johansson's glove. However, the Cyclones quickly bounced back, tying the game, and then taking the lead. On the tying tally, Chris Leone tossed a shot on goal from the left wall, which was kicked aside by Sean Maguire, but the rebound was put back in by Shawn O'Donnell, who drove down the middle. 1:34 after that, Cincinnati went ahead, when Rob De Fulviis flew to the bottom of the right circle, and whipped a shot through Maguire's legs.
Wheeling put all sorts of pressure on in the third period, outshooting the Cyclones, 17-6, but were unable to solve Jonas Johansson for a tying goal. Instead, Cincinnati added an insurance marker on the man advantage. O'Donnell flipped a pass into the slot for Justin Danforth, who sped in, kept his stick on the ice, and redirected the feed into the cage for a 3-1 final score.
Jonas Johansson was magnificent in his season debut for the Cyclones, picking up the win with 32 saves on 33 shots. Sean Maguire took the defeat for the Nailers, stopping 23 of the 26 shots he faced.
The Nailers will return home on Saturday night for a 7:05 game against the Worcester Railers. Saturday is Teddy Bear Toss - bring a new or gently used stuffed animal, and throw it onto the ice when the Nailers score their first goal. The stuffed animals will be collected by the Salvation Army, who will donate them to children around the Ohio Valley. The next big promotional game is Star Wars Night on December 2nd, when the first 2,500 fans will receive a free light saber. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, flex plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.