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Cyclones Win Debut Game Under Coach Payne

October 23, 2021 - ECHL (ECHL) - Cincinnati Cyclones News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, IN- Mason Mitchell's second goal of the night came in the third period to break a tie, propelling the Cyclones to a 3-2 win to begin the 2021-22 ECHL season.

- The Cyclones weathered a strong start by Indy through the first period. The Fuel outshot Cincinnati, 15-7, during the first period in front of over 4,000 fans at the Indiana Farmers Insurance Arena. Michael Houser stopped all 15 shots to keep the game scoreless through 20 minutes.

- Both teams exchanged goals 24 seconds apart to start the second. After Indy struck first on a breakaway by Cedric Lacroix, Mason Mitchell came down on a 2-on-1 with Matt Mcleod, who fed Mitchell toward the front of the net for the equalizer.

- Mitchell's goal marked the second consecutive Cyclones season where the forward tallied the first goal for the team.

- Graham Knott, a former member of the Fuel, struck with 3:07 to play in period two. After collecting a puck in center, The former Chicago Blackhawks draft pick skated into the left circle, ripping a wrist shot past Fuel goaltender Cale Morris, giving the Cyclones a 2-1 edge.

- Indy's Brent Gates tied the game on a power play goal 47 seconds into the third. Gates received a pass from Seamus Malone and turned to whip a shot low through traffic and by Houser.

- At 10:09 of the period, Ryan Zuhlsdorf sent the puck over the glass for Indy, giving Cincinnati the man advantage. At the dying seconds of the power play, 'Clones defenseman Wyatt Ege glided along the center of the blue line before shooting through traffic and finding Mitchell's stick for the tip-in goal to make it 3-2. Mitchell's goal came one second after the power play expired.

"We had a lot of momentum shifts that I think we controlled in our favor," said Mitchell. "I think the first they took it a little bit to us, but we came back hard in the second and the third we came out strong and finished it off."

- Michael Houser made 32 saves, earning his 127th ECHL win.

- Jason Payne earned his first win as a Head Coach in his debut behind the bench.

"Definitely an emotional evening," said Payne. "I thought the boys played really hard for each other, but it really means a lot to me that they worked as hard as they did. It's great to come out with a victory."

The Cyclones second game of the year comes Friday on the road against Kalamazoo.

The 2021-2022 season will kick off at Heritage Bank Center on Saturday, October 30. Stay tuned all off-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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