Day Chief's Natural Hat Trick Propels Cyclones to Victory
Cincinnati, OH- The Cincinnati Cyclones (31-21-2-0) overcame a two-goal deficit to collect their first win of the season over the Indy Fuel on Friday night, 4-3. Forward Winston Day Chief recorded his second hat trick of the season, while forward Justin Vaive added the game winner late in the third.
Indy struck first and took a 2-0 lead after the opening period on goals from forwards Darian Dziurzynski and Michael Neal, while outshooting Cincinnati, 21-8, in the frame.
The Cyclones started to claw at the lead 5:28 into the second, when a shot on goal from forward Dominic Zombo was kicked out by fuel goalie Matt Tomkins, but the rebound came right to Day Chief who slammed it in to cut Cincinnati's deficit in half, 2-1.
Day Chief was not done and evened the game at 2-2 just past the halfway mark of the period after a drive from forward Brandon McNally caromed off the end boards and he fired it in from the goal line for his 18th of the season.
The 2-2 tie held up throughout the remainder of the second, and in the third Day Chief completed the natural hat trick and put Cincinnati ahead midway through, when a shot from defenseman Chris Leone was deflected in out front to give Cincinnati the 3-2 lead.
The Cyclones got some momentary breathing room with three and a half to play when forward Jesse Schultz fired the puck in front and Vaive was there to bang it in to put Cincinnati up by a pair, 4-2.
Indy was not done and pulled back to within a goal with the extra attacker when forward Josh Shala deflected in a point shot to cut the Cyclones lead to 4-3. Indy continued to pressure and got a multitude of scoring chances in the final seconds, however Cincinnati goaltender Jonas Johansson survived the late push and preserved the 4-3 Cyclones win.
Cincinnati was outshot, 34-30 on the evening, with Johansson steering aside 32 in the win. The Cyclones wrap up their four-game home stand on Saturday night against the Quad City Mallards. Puck drop is at 7:35pm ET.
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