Wednesday night, the Cincinnati Cyclones hit the ice for their first game of the preseason against the Wheeling Nailers. For that being the first game this Cincinnati roster has played together, it was certainly an impressive showing at U.S. Bank Arena in Downtown Cincinnati. Knowing jobs were at stake, everybody on the Cincinnati side brought their A-game and the end result shows as 11 different Cyclones found their way onto the scoresheet.
It took a bit of time to get in the swing of things but, for the most part, Cincinnati dominated the play. Wheeling’s savior early on was goaltender Franky Palazzese. Palazzese robbed the Cyclones at just about every single opportunity, until Wheeling found their way onto the scoreboard. Shawn Skelly hit a headman pass on the money to Tyler Fernandez, who blistered a wrist shot over the shoulder of Cincinnati goaltender, Brad Thiessen to put the Nailers on top 1-0. From there, it was all Cincinnati…
Just 47 seconds into the 2nd period, Eric Robinson put one on cage, the puck pinballed in the slot right to Branden Gracel, who cashes in to pull the Cyclones even at 1-1. Late in the frame, Cincinnati would find a way to pull ahead. Who else, but former Nailer himself, Mike Ratchuk stepped up, split the defense, and bombed one over the shoulder of Wheeling goaltender, Casey DeSmith; who had just been put into the game a couple minutes prior, to make it 2-1.
3rd period starts up, and Wheeling’s wheels completely blew out as Cincinnati took the game and ran with it. It would begin just over a minute into the frame on the power play with an excellent passing play between Cody Carlson and Andrew Yogan, over to Eric Robinson who finishes the job to make it 3-1 Cincinnati. Halfway through the period, Jaynen Rissling, who played defense last year and was moved to forward this season, got a chance to show off his skills. DeSmith committed way too far to the right side, and Rissling was able to toe drag around him and tuck it in shortside for the 4-1 Cincinnati lead. In the late stages, Cincinnati wasn’t done there. Peter Quenneville set up Mike Ratchuk to create a 2-on-1 odd man rush where Zach Budish was able to cash in to make it 5-1. And just for good measure, in the final minute, Rissling found Christiaan Minella at the back door, to add more salt to the wound. Your final score would be 6-1 Cincinnati.
For the full box score of the game: Click Here
Also, to get players used to the new setup this season, regardless of the regulation score, a five minute 3-on-3 overtime was played. Neither team would wind up scoring, however, 3-on-3 OT is something many fans will be able to look forward. As a guy, who cannot stand shootouts, I think this new format of overtime will be excellent. It is very exciting for the fans. With all that space to operate, you never know what’s going to happen. One second it’s an odd man break one way, and the next second, it’s the same thing the other way. I fully believe fans are going to enjoy it.
Worth mentioning as well, if you were able to notice: Budish, Yogan, and Jack Downing were all wearing “A”‘s on their chests. If those are the three captaincy candidates, it will be interesting to see which one of them gets the “C” come opening night.
The preseason festivities will go dark for one day, and will return on Friday as the Cyclones head East for their final preseason bout in Wheeling. Puck drops at 7:35pm EST. As always, we’ll have coverage of that game on our Twitter page, and Facebook page around game time.