The Johnstown Chiefs dropped the final road game in team history on Friday night, falling behind early and failing to catch up to the Cincinnati Cyclones in a 5-1 loss in front of more than 10,000 fans at U.S. Bank Arena.
The Cyclones built a three-goal advantage on goals by Jason Jozsa, Brett Robinson and Dustin Sproat in the first period.
Somerset native Cullen Eddy assisted on Robinson’s goal, giving him his first point as a professional.
Johnstown’s Jim McKenzie scored 4:35 into the second for his 16th goal of the season. The Chiefs outshot the Cyclones 18-10 in the middle period, but Cincinnati re-established the three-goal advantage after Jozsa tallied at 16:35.
The Cyclones closed the scoring via Doug Krantz’s power-play goal at 10:48, but the action was far from finished.
Robinson fought Chiefs forward Jeff Martens with 31 seconds remaining.
Then, Chanse Fitzpatrick and Krantz fought 15 seconds later.
Cincinnati goaltender Jeremy Smith stopped 28 of 29 shots. Johnstown’s John Murray made 26 saves on 31 shots, including a second-period penalty shot by Barret Ehgoetz.
The Chiefs entered the game having won two of their past three games on the heels of a five-game losing streak. They have now lost their past five road games.
Coach Neil Smith’s team is now 18-42-7-4, by far the worst record in the 20-team ECHL. The Chiefs’ 47 points are 23 fewer than Gwinnett, which has the next lowest total in the league.
The Chiefs will play the final game in the team’s 22-year ECHL history tonight against visiting Elmira before moving to Greenville, S.C., next season.