CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Cincinnati Cyclones (32-21-2-0) defeated the Quad City Mallards (20-33-3-1) by a score of 5-2 on Saturday night at US Bank Arena. The victory had tails wagging all over the arena on the Cyclones annual Pucks and Paws Night.
Picking up right where he left off on Friday night, a game in which he recorded a natural hat trick, Winston Day Chief was the first to light the lamp for Cincinnati. Five minutes after Day Chief’s tally, Mike Barrett doubled the home team’s score when he took a backhanded pass from Alex Kile and slid the puck past the right side of Mallards’ goaltender Eric Hartzell.
After an intermission filled with Wiener Dog race excitement, the Cyclones continued their dominate the ice despite having a comparatively quiet scoring period. However, they were able to add to their lead before the frame ended with a goal by Eric Knodel.
Heading into the final frame with two-goal lead, Rob De Fulviis quickly capitalized on a pass from Mitch Nylen to bring the score to 4-1, Cyclones. Despite being down, the Mallards weren’t ready to quit just yet. Gergo Nagy cut Cincy’s lead in half less than thirty seconds after De Fulviis’ goal.
Always someone to watch, Kile put in one of his own just over five minutes into the period. Taking the puck up the right wing side, he put a hard shot top-shelf to extend Cincy’s lead. His goal would be the last of the night for either squad.
Jason Kasdorf secured the win tonight, his ninth of the season, stopping 31 out of 33 shots on goal. Mallards goaltender was handed the loss, stopping 23 out of 28.
In his first game with the Cyclones since signing a PTO (professional tryout) with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, and first since suffering a facial injury in his first game with the New York Rangers affiliate, Cincinnati was fired up to have Shawn O’Donnell back on their ice.
Returning to the Cyclones after being away for a few months, O’Donnell said he had no issues getting back into the swing of things:
“It was great, great to be back on the ice and get back into a game. I had a lot of fun tonight,” O’Donnell said. “Obviously playing in Coach Macdonald’s systems, and getting back with the guys I’ve been able to build some chemistry with earlier in the year, so it was a pretty smooth transition coming back.”
The second year-Clone was impressed with what he saw on the ice tonight, stating:
“Nice coming back to see all of the improvements, structurally, you can really see things coming together here as things progress. The guys continue to learn and points get taught, so it’s nice to see things tighten up.”
Cincinnati will face the Mallards one final time this season on Saturday, April 7 in Quad City.
The Cyclones return home on Friday, March 16 against the Indy Fuel at 7:35 pm.