Cyclones Bid For Division Title Falls Short, 4-1
WHEELING, West Virginia - The Cincinnati Cyclones entered Saturday's game looking for their third straight North Division regular season title. The Wheeling Nailers ended that dream in a 4-1 victory in the regular season finale. Goaltender Bobby Jarosz, in his pro debut, stopped 21 shots to lead the Nailers to the win.
As a result of the defeat, Cincinnati will finish second in the North Division of the American Conference. The Cyclones, with a conference-high 44 wins, will open the Kelly Cup playoffs at U.S. Bank Arena on Tuesday (April 6) and Wednesday (April 7) at 7:30pm in a best-of-five series against either Charlotte or South Carolina.
The only goal of the first period came for Wheeling in the opening minute. Following a turnover in the Cincinnati end-T.J. Fox was able to pick up his 26th goal of the year from Aaron Clarke and Cleve Kinley at 24 seconds. Each team had three power play chances in the first period with none converted and the shots favoring Wheeling, 9-3.
The second period featured scores and near scores, with each club adding a goal. Nearly nine minutes into the period, Cyclone forward Matt Pierce rang a shot off the goal post in an attempt to tie the game. At 12:58, Pierce succeeded. After the Nailers tried to send a pass to the point out of the offensive corner during a line change-the puck went through the neutral zone and into the Wheeling end. Pierce outraced Nailers goaltender Bobby Jarosz and skated past the netminder who was prone near the top of the circles, grabbed the puck and fired it into the empty net for his 28th goal. The Nailers would regain the lead at 14:21 with a shorthanded goal from Clarke-his 25th score. The shots went the way of Cincinnati, 10-7, in the period.
The Nailers would score twice in the third period to end the Cyclones efforts of winning their third consecutive North Division regular season championship. Chris Davis netted a power play goal at 8:05 from Jon D'Aversa and Jordan Fox. The final goal would come at 11:06 from Andrew Lord, who would have Kyle Bushee and Blair Yaworski assisting. The shots battle was won by Wheeling, 11-9, in the period-and 27-22 for the game.
Wheeling went one-for-five on the power play, while the Cyclones were zero-for-five. Jeremy Smith took the defeat for Cincinnati despite turning away 23 shots. Bobby Jarosz grabbed the win for Wheeling, stopping 21 shots.
Cincinnati finished the 2009-10 regular season with the second-most wins (44) in team history. Head Coach Chuck Weber has a regular season record of 177-92-19 (.649 winning percentage) in the four seasons since the return of the club in 2006-07.
Cincinnati is 44-25-3, while Wheeling is 33-32-7. A announcement of the opponent and full playing schedule will be released as soon as it is determined. The opening round of the Cincinnati Cyclones USA Collision Centers postseason will be during the week of April 5 and will be a best-of-five series. The latest information on the team and playoffs can be found at www.cycloneshockey.com. .
Tickets for the 2010-11 Cincinnati Cyclones season are now on sale. The Cyclones Sales Department can be reached at 513-421-PUCK, extension 3. Selected Friday night games are carried on 1530-AM Homer, while all 72 regular season games can be heard on the club's website at: www.cycloneshockey.com. All road Kelly Cup playoff games will be carried on ESPN 1530 as well.
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