Cyclones Edge Nailers in Preseason Opener
WHEELING, WV - The Wheeling Nailers opened their 2018 preseason slate on Friday night, as they welcomed the Cincinnati Cyclones to WesBanco Arena. Nick Saracino picked up the first goal of the preseason for Wheeling, but unfortunately, that was the only marker of the night for the home team, as the visiting Cyclones squeezed out a 2-1 decision in their favor.
After a relatively even start to the opening stanza, Cincinnati controlled the majority of the play during the second half of the period, outshooting the Nailers, 16-4, while tallying the opening goal. The marker came on an unfortunate bounce for Wheeling, as Mitch Jones' attempted pass bounced off of a defender's skate, then proceeded to trickle through Danny Tirone's legs.
The Nailers closed the gap in shots on goal during the middle frame, but the Cyclones were responsible for the only goal, as they doubled their lead. Anthony Florentino drove in a slap shot from the middle of the blueline. Both teams made goaltending changes just prior to the midway mark of the contest.
Wheeling netted its first goal of the preseason at the 7:03 mark of the third period. Christian Isackson chopped the puck to the top of the crease, where Nick Saracino slammed a shot through goaltender Michael Houser. The Nailers outshot Cincinnati, 8-5 in the final period, but were unable to come up with the tying tally, as the Cyclones prevailed, 2-1.
Michael Houser collected the win for Cincinnati with 12 saves on 13 shots in relief of Hayden Stewart, who turned away all nine shots he faced. Danny Tirone stopped 16 of the 17 shots he faced for Wheeling, and was followed by Matt O'Connor, who suffered the loss, despite an 8-for-9 effort.
The Nailers and Cyclones will face-off in Cincinnati on Saturday to wrap up the preseason at 7:35. The regular season opens on October 13th, when the Nailers visit the Norfolk Admirals. Wheeling's first home game will take place on November 3rd against the Indy Fuel. 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. For information on season tickets, group tickets, flex plans, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.
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Wheeling Nailer vie for a loose puck vs. the Cincinnati Cyclones in preseason action
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