Quick Hits: Cyclones Drop Preseason Finale
Indianapolis, IN- Brent Gates' third goal of the night started a three goal third period rally, helping the Indy Fuel take a 6-4 decision over the Cyclones at Indiana Farmers Insurance Arena. Cincinnati ends preseason 1-1, splitting the series with Indy.
- The Fuel came out with energy to play in front of their home crowd and capitalized on a turnover in their defensive zone. Chad Yetman intercepted the puck, then sprung Brent Gates at center ice to go down for a breakaway goal on Cyclones net minder Brendan Bonello.
- Cincinnati responded with two goals to skate into intermission with the lead. Less than two minutes after Indy scored, Brett Van Os crashed the goal and received a behind-the-net pass from Wyatt Ege to tie the contest with his secondgoal of the preseason and first of two on the night. Cincinnati's second goal came just five seconds into a power play, when Matthew Cairns fired a shot from the center of the blue line through traffic to beat Fuel goaltender Mitch Gillam.
- Both teams struck twice in the second, with the 'Clones responding in quick fashion each time. After Gates tied the game at two, Mason Mitchell galloped down the ice, cut in on goal and snuck a backhander through the legs of then-goalie Michael Lackey, who took over for Gillam after the first. The score remained 3-2 until CJ Eick buried a shot in-between the circles on Cyclones goalie Steve Mundinger (who came in for Bonello midway through the period) to tie the contest with 2:51 to play in the period. Cincinnati again retaliated when Van Os ripped his second of the night in the back of the net just 65 seconds after Eick's goal.
- With a 4-3 lead to start the final period, the Cyclones continued to pressure the Fuel, spending most of the period's first seven minutes in the offensive zone. After getting a power play and generating chances during the first minute, forward Graham Knott was called for hooking to end the man advantage. Following the 4-on-4 sequence, Indy jumped to the power play, where Gates third goal of the night came on a one-timer in the right circle to tie the game at four and give the Fuel forward a hat trick.
- 20 seconds later, Keoni Texeira was on the right side of an odd man rush to crash the net on a feed from Cedric Lacroix to slip one past Mundinger and give Indy a lead they wouldn't look back on. Riley McKay scored an empty net goal with just over a minute to play, giving the Fuel a 6-4 win.
"I think our guys battled hard tonight," said Cyclones Assistant Coach Alex Bezerra. "It was a fun hockey game and fast paced hockey, which is the brand we want to play. I think transition is still something we've got to work on and our special teams. We had an opportunity to take over the game and just ran into some bad puck luck in the third. We're gonna be better the next time we're out there."
- Brendan Bonello exited the game in the second with 13 saves on 15 shots, including a sensational left glove stop on the penalty kill against Indy's Diego Cuglietta. Steve Mundinger played the game's final 31 minutes and made 15 stops on 18 shots.
- Cyclones defenseman Nick Boka served the first of a three game suspension issued by the ECHL in response to an incident occuring in the previous game between the Fuel and Cyclones on Thursday.
The Cyclones will return to Indy next Saturday for the first of 72 games to kickoff the 2021-22 ECHL regular season.
The 2021-2022 season will kick off at Heritage Bank Center on Saturday, October 30. Stay tuned all off-season for updates on important events, player signings, promotion and ticketing information and MORE! Call (513) 421-PUCK for tickets and more information, and stay on top of all the latest team updates and information on Facebook, Twitter (@CincyCyclones), and Instagram, along with our website, www.cycloneshockey.com!