CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Cyclones (35-26-3-0) met with the Atlanta Gladiators (30-32-2-3) in a cross-conference showdown on Thursday night at US Bank Arena. The two-game set between the opponents wraps up tonight in Cincinnati at 7:35 pm.
Alex Kile opened up the scoring for the Cyclones at 6:06 in the first period when he took advantage of a misplayed puck that was left completely open a few yards directly in front of the Gladiators net. Taking an easy one-timer past goaltender Dan Vladar, the forward recorded his 13th goal of the season. Before the period was over, Lindsay Sparks would tie the game up at one apiece going into the second.
The second period was by far the most active, as Cyclones Justin Vaive gave Cincinnati the 2-1 lead within under half a minute of puck drop. Making the most out of his celebration on $1 beer night, an enthusiastic Vaive jumped straight at a beer tower to watch it fall. However, his efforts on the scoreboard weren’t enough to bring home the win, as the Cyclones would not score another goal for the rest of the night.
In an explosive middle frame, Atlanta scored four goals within under five minutes to take the 5-2 lead. The Gladiators would late polish off their win with a spectacular diving empty-net goal by Phil Lane to finish the game 6-2, Atlanta. En route to the victory, Sparks recorded a hat trick a mere 28 minutes into the game. The loss marked the fourth game in a row the Cyclones have lost.
Gladiators head coach, Chuck Weber, made quite the appearance with his team’s win in US Bank Arena upon his homecoming. Weber was the Cyclones bench boss for four years between 2006-11, where he lead Cincinnati to two Kelly Cup Championships. With the win, Weber improved to 91-41-5-8 at US Bank Arena.
The game marked two major milestones for recent signees Jake Linhart and Vasili Glotov, both of which playing in their first professional game.
Linhart, a defenseman, recently finished up his fourth year with the Wisconsin Badgers where he recorded 60 points (15g-45a) in 142 collegiate games. The undrafted Wisconsin native skated in a Rochester Americans practice before being sent to Cincinnati.
Glotov, a 2016 draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres, came to the Cyclones after completing his second season in the QMJHL. Both skaters signed an Amateur Tryout (ATO) on March 22 ahead of the night’s game.
The Cyclones will face the Gladiators once again tonight back at US Bank Arena. After the night’s tilt, Cincinnati will head to West Virginia to face the Wheeling Nailers.