CINCINNATI, Oh. - The Elmira Jackals struck first on Saturday night at US Bank Arena in their final game of the season against the Cincinnati Cyclones, but that was their only marker on the night. Cincinnati rattled off four in a row for the win and dropped Elmira to 22-33-8 on the season.
Click here for tonight's box score.
One night after combining to score 12 goals the Jackals and Cyclones took some time to wake up their offenses on Saturday. Each side managed just one shot on goal through the first five minutes of play. And while the Jackals didn't produce a high volume of chances early on they did take advantage of a high-quality opportunity to take the early lead. Jordan Pietrus won a defensive zone faceoff that led to a quick-developing 2-on-1 attack for Riley Boychuk and Jake Trask. Boychuk fed the pass across from the left wing and Trask chipped home his second goal of the year 8:56 into the contest. The goal came on Elmira's second shot of the game. Cincinnati didn't take long to respond as Colin Mulvey tied the score at 10:38. Then, with less than a second remaining in the frame, Josh Birkholz fed a wrist shot past Neil Conway to send Cincinnati into the break with a 2-1 lead.
Cincinnati's offense lit up the shot board, but not the scoreboard, in the second period as it attempted to build its lead to two. Conway was stellar in stopping each of the 16 shots he faced to hold the Cyclones at bay. His best stop came late in the period with Cincinnati on the power play. Barry Almeida sent a pass from the bottom of the right circle across the slot to Byron Froese low on the left wing. It looked like Froese had a wide-open net to shoot for but Conway's lunging pad save shocked everyone. At the other end of the ice Cincinnati's Rob Madore made a similarly impressive save on Dane Walters. The rebound of a Daniel Koger wrist shot bounced directly to Walters on the right wing but Madore scrambled to his left to make the stop and keep Elmira from tying the score.
Elmira was afforded some golden opportunities to get back into the game in the early stages of the third. The Cyclones took a pair of penalties 2:03 apart that essentially gave the Jackals four straight minutes of power play time. Despite four shots on the advantages the Jackals could not dent the net and remained behind by one. Cincinnati then potted a pair of insurance markers thanks to Josh Shalla's power play tally at 7:30 and Brian Nugent's empty-net goal with 57 seconds to play.
Conway was tagged with his seventh regulation loss of the season while making 34 saves. Elmira ended the night 0-for-5 on the power play and 6-for-7 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.