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Cyclones blow past Gladiators

CINCINNATI — Coyotes prospect Brenden Walker scored for the Gladiators, but Anthony Luciani earned a hat trick to lead the Cincinnati Cyclones over Gwinnett 5-1 Wednesday night at US Bank Arena.

Joe Howe turned aside 28 of 29 shots for Cincinnati (23-9-1-1) between the pipes, while Brad Phillips had his three-start winning streak snapped for Gwinnett (14-22-0-2), making 26 saves.

The Cyclones notched the lone two goals of the opening period. Paul Crowder buried a centering pass just 1:45 into the game, and Luciani drove to the slot and put a backhander past Phillips at 10:38 for a 2-0 Cincinnati edge.

The Cyclones scored the only goal of the second period late, with Adam Brace potting a rebound at 18:41. Cincinnati added to its lead in the third despite being outshot 17-5 in the period. Luciani’s second goal of the night 4:42 into the period extended the lead to 4-0, but the Gladiators finally managed to break up the shutout at 13:47.

Walker broke into the Cyclones zone down the left wing side, and lifted a backhander over the blocker arm of Howe to put Gwinnett on the board. Justin Weller and Sacha Guimond had the assists.

That would be it for the Gladiators offense though, and Luciani would pick up the hat trick on a questionable penalty shot call inside the final minute of the third period.