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Wheeling Comeback Falls Short in Cincinnati

Friday, November 24th
Wheeling Comeback Falls Short in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, OH- Although the final score showed a three-goal differential, Friday afternoon's tilt between the Wheeling Nailers and Cincinnati Cyclones was as tight as could be for the better part of 56 minutes. In the end, Cincinnati's top line put the host squad in front, as Matej Pekar and Luka Burzan both scored twice to complement Talyn Boyko's 32 saves. The Cyclones were victorious, 5-2. Dillon Hamaliuk scored both goals for the Nailers, giving him points in nine of his last ten games.

The two teams were still shaking off the cobwebs of the early start, as the first period was played to a scoreless deadlock. Cincinnati was first on the board at the 2:56 mark of the middle frame. Matej Pekar dug the puck off of the right wing wall, then slithered a pass through the crease to Luka Burzan who tapped in the goal from the left side. Pekar was at the center of attention less than three minutes later, as his top-left corner snipe from the slot gave the Cyclones their second marker. With less than one minute remaining in the second, the Nailers struck. Thimo Nickl intercepted a clearing attempt, and immediately directed the puck to Dillon Hamaliuk, who tipped in the feed from the left side of the crease.

Wheeling came out with lots of shots in the third period, and had a couple of great chances to tie the score on the power play, but with 3:21 to go, Cincinnati upped its lead. Josh Burnside's shot from the center point bounced off of a leg and deflected to the right side of the slot, where Lincoln Griffin had a slam dunk. The Cyclones tacked on a pair of empty netters by Burzan and Pekar, which were sandwiched around Hamaliuk's second of the contest, as he lifted in the rebound of Justin Lee's point drive. The final score was 5-2 for Cincinnati.

Talyn Boyko collected his second win of the week for the Cyclones, as he denied 32 of the 34 shots he faced and added two assists. Taylor Gauthier made 21 saves on 24 shots for the Nailers.

The Nailers will return home for games on Saturday at 7:10 and Sunday at 4:10, both against Iowa. Saturday's game is First Responders Night, which will be followed by the annual Guns vs. Hoses match. First Responders will also be able to get a free fountain beverage at the concession stands. Sunday is a Screen Time Sunday, in which one lucky fan will win a free TV courtesy of Walmart. Additionally, fans will be able to skate with the odd-numbered players after Sunday's tilt. The next Big Six game is Wheeling Wonderland on Saturday, December 9th. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by 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.

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