CINCINNATI, OH- The Wheeling Nailers scored the opening goal for the fourth time in the last five games, but unfortunately, Zac Lynch's third marker of the season was the only celebration for the visitors at U.S. Bank Arena on Wednesday night. The Cincinnati Cyclones finished the evening with four straight goals, and Michael Houser backstopped the 4-1 Cincinnati win with 22 saves.
Wheeling's penalty kill was tremendous in the first period, keeping the Cyclones off the scoreboard on four chances. The offense also stepped up, depositing the first goal of the night. Cedric Lacroix stole a puck in the slot, before rifling a wrist shot toward the net. Although his shot missed wide, it was powerful enough to produce a big rebound off the end wall, which was tucked into the cage by Zac Lynch.
The Nailers maintained their lead until the closing minutes of the middle stanza, when Cincinnati turned on the red light twice to go ahead. The first tally came with 2:19 to go. Mitch Jones turned and blasted a shot from the top of the left circle, which was stopped by John Muse. However, the rebound kicked out to Pascal Aquin, who tapped it into the net. 27 seconds later, the Cyclones converted on a power play, as Jesse Schultz slid a pass off of Justin Vaive and into the goal.
Cincinnati extended its advantage with a shorthanded strike at the 4:20 mark of the third period. Alex Wideman led Brady Vail behind the defense, and Vail proceeded to fake from forehand to backhand, slipping in the tally. Wheeling had a goal waved off due to goaltender interference, keeping the deficit at two, before Mike Marnell's empty netter salted away a 4-1 win for the Cyclones.
Michael Houser improved to 4-0-1 with the win for Cincinnati, making 22 saves on 23 shots. John Muse suffered the defeat for the Nailers, despite turning away 23 of the 26 shots he faced.
The Nailers will play a pair of games at home this weekend on Friday and Saturday, as they welcome the Greenville Swamp Rabbits to town. Both contests begin at 7:05, and Friday's game is the first Frosty Friday of the season, featuring $2 beers. Coming up later in the month on November 21st is Marvel Super Hero Night. Then, on December 15th, Mick Foley will be the special guest for NailerMania. The Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley. For information on season tickets, group tickets, flex plans, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.