CINCINNATI, OH- The Wheeling Nailers had two great comebacks in their two contests at Heritage Bank Center, but despite those efforts, they left town empty-handed. Sean Josling and Cédric Desruisseaux helped Wheeling erase an early 2-0 deficit, but with 6:55 left in the game, Lincoln Griffin's rebound marker lifted the Cincinnati Cyclones to the 3-2 home ice victory.
The Cyclones got off to the quick start on their home ice, as they found the back of the net twice in the opening stanza. The first goal came at the 2:03 mark. Matt McLeod picked up speed as he breezed into the offensive zone. Once he broke into the net, he quickly shifted from left to right, and slipped a forehand shot through Taylor Gauthier's legs. Cincinnati's other marker came with 2:51 left on the clock. Matt Berry's steal led a transition rush for his team, which resulted in Phil Lagunov depositing the rebound of Zack Andrusiak's shot from the right side.
Wheeling put a strong second period together, as it cut into the deficit to one with a power play goal. Josh Maniscalco let a shot go from the top of the left circle, which got redirected into the cage by Sean Josling. The Nailers outshot the Cyclones, 16-10 in the frame.
The energy carried into the third period, and Wheeling got an early equalizer. An errant pass by Cincinnati sat in the left circle, where Cédric Desruisseaux pounced on the loose puck, and promptly roofed a wrist shot into the top-right corner of the cage. The end of the game was extremely tight once again, but similar to Wednesday, the Cyclones got a late goal to snap the deadlock. Andrusiak's right circle shot got blocked away, but Lincoln Griffin lunged to toss in the rebound from just above the goal line. The Nailers put together another push, but couldn't find the tying tally in the 3-2 final.
Beck Warm got the win in net for Cincinnati, as he thwarted away 38 of the 40 shots he faced. Taylor Gauthier made 29 saves on 32 shots in the Wheeling crease.
The Nailers will travel north to finish their week on the road, as they will visit the Kalamazoo Wings on Saturday at 7:00. Wheeling will have a pair of home games next weekend, when it hosts the Indy Fuel for a Frosty Friday on December 16th at 7:10. Then, the Cyclones come to town on Sunday, December 18th at 4:10. Following that contest, fans will get the chance to skate with 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.