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Cyclones Hop over Swamp Rabbits in Front of 8,000+

December 29, 2021 - ECHL (ECHL) - Cincinnati Cyclones News Release

Cincinnati, OH - The Cyclones jumped all over Greenville early, scoring three goals in the first four minutes en route to a 6-1 win in front of 8,020 fans inside Heritage Bank Center.

The 'Clones improve to 16-11-1-0 and sit in a tie for second place with the Fort Wayne Komets in the Central Division. Greenville has one win in its last seven games, sitting 9-11-3-1 on the 2021-22 ECHL season.

- Cincinnati scored three goals 1:12 apart, going up 3-0 less than four minutes into the contest. Justin Vaive scored the first of his two goals on the night when he raced in the zone for a puck in the left wing circle, immediately collecting and shooting the puck by Greenville net minder John Lethemon.

- Lincoln Griffin scored less than a minute later, tagging his former team with a backhander by Lethemon. 14 seconds later, Gino Esteves jammed home a rebound off Jason Tackett's shot, putting the Cyclones up 3-0, while subsequently ending Lethemon's night after surrendering three goals on five shots. Evan Fitzpatrick came in relief and stopped 18 of 21 shots. Liam Pecararo scored the lone goal for Greenville on the power play in the first period.

"It's good to get a win against them," said former Swamp Rabbits forward Griffin. "I love all of those guys over there. They're a great group but it definitely means a lot to me. We got call-ups. You never know when your opportunity is going to come. You gotta be ready and know your role and take advantage of the opportunity."

- The Cyclones scored back-to-back opening minute goals in the second and third periods. Matt McLeod cut through the defense in center for a breakaway to roof his eighth goal of the season 36 seconds into the middle period. Jess Schultz followed that in the third, striking 30 seconds in with a wrist shot from the left circle, making it 5-1 Cyclones.

- 4:22 into the third, Vaive stripped the puck on a failed Swamp Rabbits clear to shuffle it by Fitzpatrick for the eventual 6-1 final. Vaive has eight goals on the season and tallied his second, three point game over his last three.

- Sean Bonar made 20 saves on 21 shots for the win. Cincinnati was without all of their AHL contracted players due to call-ups, while continuing to miss Mason Mitchell, Patrick Polino, and Yushiroh Hirano.

Game two of a five game homestand for the 'Clones comes Friday on New Year's Eve in a 6PM rematch with the Swamp Rabbits.

Stay tuned all season for updates on important events, player signings, promotion and ticketing information and MORE! Call (513) 421-PUCK for tickets and more information, and stay on top of all the latest team updates and information on Facebook, Twitter (@CincyCyclones), and Instagram, along with our website,!

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