CINCINNATI, Oh. - The Elmira Jackals poured home five goals in Cincinnati on Friday night but couldn't keep pace with the league's best offense as the Cyclones claimed a 7-5 win at US Bank Arena. The loss dropped Elmira to 22-32-8 on the season.
Click here for tonight's box score.
Jackals goalie Neil Conway was bested on three of the first six shots he faced when he logged his first start against Cincinnati one week ago. This go around he was stout with 17 saves on 19 shots in the first. Cincinnati's Josh Shalla opened the scoring 5:02 into the contest by stuffing a rebound past a prone Conway, but Dane Walters answered back just 27 seconds later. On a 3-on-1 rush Corey Bellamy sent the feed to the right wing that set up Walters' eighth goal of the season. Walters' goal came on Elmira's third shot of the period and the Jackals managed six more for a total of nine not long after the period was halfway over. They couldn't manage another shot against Cyclones goalie Magnus Hellberg the rest of the period, however, and Colin Mulvey's goal off of a faceoff win at 15:32 sent the Cyclones into the break with the lead.
For those who thought the first period was an offensive outburst, they were sorely mistaken. The Jackals and Cyclones combined for seven goals in the middle frame but Cincinnati notched one more than Elmira and was able to build its lead up to two heading into the third. The main culprit was Brian Nugent who netted his first professional hat trick. The rookie scored at 3:07, 7:07, and 8:58 to up his season total to 11. Elmira started the period with momentum in its corner thanks to former Cyclone Daniel Koger tipping home a Patch Alber point shot 59 seconds into the stanza. Jordan Ciccarello also scored his first goal as a pro a little less than two minutes after Nugent scored his first of the night. Jordan Pietrus capped off the raucous frame with a shorthanded goal at 9:42. That was his third shortie of the year and it resulted in Rob Madore coming on to replace starting goalie Hellberg. His night ended with nine saves on 14 shots.
Elmira clawed back within one goal of the Cyclones with just over seven minutes remaining in the third and put everyone on the edge of their seats. Big pressure by the Jackals on the forecheck caused the Cyclones to turn the puck over directly in front of Madore and Colin Jacobs was there to cash in his second goal of the season. Conway was pulled for the extra attacker with just over a minute remaining but it was Nugent capping off his four-goal night with a long-range shot that produced the lone goal in that time.
Conway stopped 42 of 49 in taking his sixth loss (8-6-3) of the season. Elmira was 0-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals return to home ice on Saturday, March 29 to take on the Reading Royals. Join us for the inaugural Pink In the Rink presented by Wine and Design. Order tickets using the "PINK" promo code to have $2 from each ticket donated to Susan G. Komen Twin Tiers Region. Don't forget that groups of 10 or more who book in advance receive discounts off the box office price and preferred seating based on availability. Call 607-734-7825 to get your group outing booked.