WHEELING, WV- Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Mark Sinclair achieved something on Friday night that no netminder had been able to do since February 16, 2019 (109 games) - shutout the Wheeling Nailers at WesBanco Arena. Sinclair earned the first victory of his pro career with a 24-save performance, and the Cyclones helped him out by turning on the red light four times in a 4-0 decision.
Cincinnati got off to a strong start, as the visitors outshot the Nailers, 11-4 in the first period, while netting a pair of markers. The first goal came at the 5:45 mark. Jalen Smereck tossed the puck into the slot, where Cody Caron took a swing and chipped a shot into the left side of the net. With 4:04 remaining, Justin Vaive added to his team's advantage, when he broke behind the defense, faked from forehand to backhand, and lifted a shot up and over goaltender Taylor Gauthier.
Wheeling was able to generate more pressure in the middle frame, but the Cyclones collected the lone tally. Lee Lapid led the charge on a 2-on-1 break, then slid a pass across the slot to Patrick Polino, who clobbered home a one-timer from the left side.
The Nailers tried to get the offense going with an early goaltender pull during the third period, but Vaive chucked in his second of the game on his backhand for the 4-0 final in favor of Cincinnati.
Mark Sinclair was perfect in his first career win for the Cyclones, as he denied all 24 shots he faced. Taylor Gauthier made 26 saves on 29 shots in goal for Wheeling.
The Nailers will wrap up their season-opening four-game homestand on Sunday afternoon, when they face the Iowa Heartlanders at 4:10. The first 200 kids in attendance will receive treat bags, everyone is encouraged to wear their costumes, and there will be a post game skate featuring the even-numbered players. Season memberships, Big 6 ticket plans, and single game tickets are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or calling (304) 234-GOAL. 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.