Cyclones Rally in Third to Down Thunder
CINCINNATI, OH – The Cincinnati Cyclones found themselves trailing by a goal entering the third period on Friday evening, but scored three goals in the final frame to earn a 5-3 victory over the Wichita Thunder. This was the first contest of a four-game road trip for the Thunder who lost to the top team in the Central Division. Josh Burnside, Zack Andrusiak, Josh Passolt, Patrick Polino and Matej Pekar each had two points for the Cyclones. Cole MacDonald had two assists for the Thunder.
Cincinnati took the lead 1:25 into the contest when Pekar netted his 11th goal of the season. Burnside passed the puck in the slot to Pekar, who buried a wrist shot past Eric Dop to make it 1-0.
Wichita responded a little less than seven minutes later when Timur Ibragimov netted his 11th goal of the year. Peter Bates moved the puck into the neutral zone where Ibragimov beat a Cincinnati defenseman for the loose puck. He then sped in on Cincinnati netminder Beck Warm, beating him with a wrist shot to tie the score at one.
Cincinnati retook the lead 17 seconds later when Polino found Matt Berry at the far post. He redirected the puck past Dop for his 12th goal of the year.
Once again, the Thunder responded as Michal Stinil scored his team-leading 25th goal of the season with 1:24 left in the first period. Jay Dickman made a perfect pass to Stinil in the slot, who blasted a shot by Warm to knot the game at two.
Wichita was grossly outshot in the first period, 15-6, but even the score in the second as both teams recorded nine shots on net. Cameron Hough gave the Thunder deleted 9:18 when he netted his first goal of the year.
The Cyclones were down, but dominated the final frame of the contest, outshooting Wichita 16-9. That resulted in three goals for Cincinnati, starting 48 seconds into the period when Steven MacLean scored his first goal of the year. MacLean took a shot that Dop saved, but he scooped up his own rebound, putting it in to tie the score at three.
At the 8:27 mark, Polino put his team on top for good. Passolt was able to gain control the puck inside the Thunder zone, passing it to Polino, who beat Dop with a wrist shot for his 13th goal of the year.
Six minutes later, Andrusiak closed out the scoring with his 20th goal of the year. That made it 5-3, which would be the final.
The Wichita Thunder (26-21-4) will be back on the ice on Saturday as they travel to Ohio to take on the Toledo Walleye (31-15-6). The puck drops at 6:15 Wichita time.
by Robert Pannier