CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Cyclones ended the Wheeling Nailers four-game win streak in a 3-2 triumph Wednesday night at U.S. Bank Arena. Four power play goals and a shorthanded tally accounted for the five goals. Maxime Lacroix had a power play goal and a shorthanded game winner in the contest.
Cyclones center Barret Ehgoetz also collected an assist in the game—giving him 213 points in his career with the club. The 213 points ties Sheldon Gorski, who played for the squad in Louisville and Miami before moving to Cincinnati, for the team lead. Ehgoetz has 75 goals and 138 assists as a member of the Cyclones.
The Cyclones scored the lone goal of the first period on the power play, as Maxime Lacroix collected his ninth score of the season. Lacroix slapped a shot over the blocker hand of Nailers goaltender Adam Berkhoel from the left wing side to light the lamp. It was the ECHL-high 28th first goal of the season for Cincinnati. Brian O'Hanley and Brett Motherwell had the assists on the score. The shots favored Wheeling, 11-9, in the opening term.
Cincinnati opened the lead up to 2-0 when Mark Voakes netted his fifth goal of the season—and fourth versus Wheeling—with the man-advantage at 3:31. Barret Ehgoetz and Dustin Sproat had the assists on the score. The Nailers responded with a pair of power play goals of their own, as Mitch Ganzak (seventh at 12:11) and Thomas Beauregard (28th at 15:46) tied the game. Just eleven seconds after the game was knotted at two each, Lacroix netted his second of the night—shorthanded—at 15:57. It was Cincinnati's 13th shorthanded goal—most in the ECHL this season. Dustin Sproat won the faceoff at center ice and Lacroix snapped off a shot from long range to give Cincinnati the lead. The shots in the second favored the Cyclones, 13-11.
There was no scoring in the third period, but Wheeling outshot the Cyclones—eleven to one—in the period. For the game, the Nailers outshot Cincinnati, 33-23. Each team was two-for-eight with the man-advantage. Jeremy Smith took the win, turning away 31 shots. It was his 14th triumph of the year. Adam Berkhoel dropped to 6-5-1 on the year with his 20 save performance. Berkhoel is 0-3 against the Cyclones this season.
Cincinnati is 28-17-1, while Wheeling is 25-19-3. The Cyclones return to U.S. Bank Arena tomorrow night for a 7:30pm clash against defending Kelly Cup champion South Carolina. The standings in the North Division are the tightest of any division in the ECHL. The Cyclones lead the North with 57 standings points, while Toledo is in second with 54 and Kalamazoo is tied with Wheeling—both having 53 points. The next closest race is in the Pacific Division, where 15 points separate first and fourth place.