'CLONES HANG ON IN UTAH, EXTEND POINT STREAK TO 20 GAMES
Lee Lapid scored what proved to be the game-winning-goal in a penalty-filled Friday that ended in a 4-3 win for the Cyclones, topping the Utah Grizzlies on the road.
With Toledo losing in regulation and the 'Clones win, Cincinnati is now 42-12-6-3 on the season with 93 points; five ahead of the Walleye for first in the Central Division. The Cyclones furthered both their franchise best point streak to 20 games and road win streak to 10 games. Collectively, the team has won eight straight.
- A strong start built the Cyclones a 2-1 advantage after the first period, thanks to goals from Jalen Smereck (8) and Patrick Polino (22). Smereck's drive came from stepping into the low slot just after a Cincinnati power play expired. The offensive defenseman popped a shot past Utah's Trent Miner 6:11 into the first. Keaton Jameson fired back three minutes later, collecting a cross-ice pass from Jared Power before beating Beck Warm to even the score. The effect of Jameson's goal was negated when the forward took a slashing penalty in the final minute of the first. The following sequence saw Polino crash the crease, collecting a rebound off a Justin Vaive shot to regain the lead for Cincinnati with 28 seconds remaining.
- Smereck (9) found the back of the net again to register his first multi-goal game of the season 6:19 into the middle period. For the third time this week, the Cyclones penalty kill resulted in a shorthanded tally. Lee Lapid crossed the Utah blue line before dropping a pass to a trailing Smereck, who tapped it past Miner to get Cincinnati a multi-goal edge.
- Jared Power grabbed his own rebound to make it 3-2 late in the second, but Lapid (10) put a dagger in the net Less than three minutes into the third. Cincinnati continued capitalizing on gaps through the middle left by Utah, as Dajon Mingo whipped a cross-ice feed to Lapid for the one-timer to beat Miner, making it 4-2. Mingo found himself on the stat sheet again later in the frame, dropping the gloves for a fight with Johnny Walker, who scored a late power play goal with the net empty to put the Grizzlies within a goal. Utah pulled Miner again for the extra attacker at the end of the game, but Cameron Wright rang a shot off the post, allowing Cincinnati to hang on for the 4-3 final. The two teams combined for 90 penalty minutes Friday, with Cincinnati killing six of seven man-down situations.
- In his first start in two weeks, Warm picked up his league leading-25th win, stopping 27 shots.
- The Cyclones put a bow on their three-game trip out West in a Sunday evening face-off with the Grizzlies.
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