POLINO'S LATE GOAL KEEPS TRAIN ROLLING, CYCLONES WIN IN UTAH, 6-4
West Valley City, UT- Patrick Polino, like the rest of the Cyclones, remained hot, scoring two goals including the game-winning-goal with 2:19 remaining to lift Cincinnati to a 6-4 win over Utah Wednesday night at Maverik Center.
The Cyclones own the second highest point total in the ECHL, climbing to 91 on the season with a 41-12-6-3 record. With 12 regular season games remaining, the 'Clones are three points in front of the second place-Walleye for first in the Central Division. The team continues its franchise best 19-game point streak and have won a franchise best-nine straight away games. Cincinnati is also riding a seven-game win streak overall.
- Utah struck first, but the Cyclones put three goals up in the first nine minutes to take a two-goal lead. After Jordan Martel scored 1:48 into the game, beating Mark Sinclair on a one-timer from the slot, Utah's Johnny Walker took one of what would be many penalties throughout the game. In this instance, the forward was in the box for cross-checking, and Zack Berzolla (4) capitalized, clubbing a shot from atop the blue line that went through goaltender Lukas Parik to tie the game at the 3:49 mark.
- Adam Berg (2) scored 43 seconds later, thanks to Lee Lapid leaving a puck to the left of Parik as he went to roam behind the net. The move proved deceptive, as Berg came in to chip the puck into the goal while Parik didn't anchor his post. Minutes later, a Grizzlies power play proved futile with Polino (20) stealing a puck to go in for a shorthanded breakaway and score 8:53 into the first for the 3-1 lead. Polino's goal makes him the fifth 20-goal scorer for the Cyclones this season and ties him with Cyclones' alum Allan Egeland (2001-02) for the most shorthanded goals in a single season (4).
- Utah answered back 27 seconds into the second period, with Zach Tsekos knocking down a shot taken from Walker, before curling it into the goal to make it 3-2. Things got wild at the 7:16 mark of the period, as while shorthanded, the Cyclones yet again struck down a man, with Josh Passolt (21) beating out Parik to make it 4-2. At the same time, Walker and Sean Allen were behind the play and dropped the gloves, with Allen earning a convincing win in his seventh fighting major of the season.
- Martel scored his second of the night late in the second to pull the Grizzlies within one, before team captain Connor McDonald knotted the game at four a piece midway through the third period, taking a shot from the right point that went in through traffic.
- Each of the three prior meetings between the Cyclones and Grizzlies in franchise history required overtime, but Polino (21) prevented that after getting a pass worked to him from Matt Berry in the left-wing circle. The center-man uncorked a shot that got through Parik with only 2:19 remaining to grab a 5-4 lead for the 'Clones. Justin Vaive added an empty-net goal with six seconds remaining to post his second career 30-goal season en route to the 6-4 final.
- Sinclair faced 40 shots, making 36 saves for his 10th consecutive win to improve to 17-6-3 on the season.
- The Cyclones play game two of three against the Grizzlies this season Friday night in Utah.
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