CINCINNATI, OH – David Rutherford scored a goal and added an assist to help lead the Florida Everblades to a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones at U.S. Bank Arena Wednesday night. The win is the third straight for Florida.
Florida turned to their newest addition to provide the game’s first goal. Defenseman Mark Stuart grabbed the puck off the boards at the blue line and fired a wrist shot to the net and past Cincinnati goaltender Brain Foster. The goal was the first in the ECHL for Stuart who has played in 386 career NHL games.
The Everblades stormed out the gates in the second period, and took control of the game. Just 90 seconds into the period, A.J. Jenks made a nice move around the Cincinnati defense, and slipped a pass to the top of the crease to David Rutherford. Rutherford swung the puck to his backhand, and flipped the puck high into the net over an outstretched Foster for the goal.
Florida took a 3-0 lead on another 2-on-1 rush into the zone. Ryan O’Byrne carried the puck into the zone on the right wing circle, and rolled a pass across to Leigh Salters who buried the puck into the net behind Foster for the goal.
In need of a goal, Cincinnati received one at 7:13 of the second period. Joah Birkholz fired a shot at the left wing circle which banked off the pad of Florida goaltender John Muse and into the net for the goal to put the score a t 3-1.
Less than a minute later, the Everblades grabbed the momentum right back. Matt Beca cradled the puck in the slot and handed it off to Corey Trivino who blazed into the zone at full speed. Trivino blew past the Cyclones defense at the left wing circle and fired a wrsit shot which beat Foster cleanly on the glove side. Trivino’s goal gave the Everblades a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes played.
Cincinnati chipped away at the Everblades lead in the third, outshooting Florida 16-2 in the period. The Cyclones received a goal from Mike Embach halfway through the period to pull within two. Cincinnati made it interesting as Mike Pelech batted a shot in for a goal on the side of the crease with 17 seconds remaining, but the Everblades held on to secure the 4-3 victory.
John Muse earns his third consecutive victory, allowing stopping 29 of 32 shots faced, while Brian Foster takes the loss allowing four goals on 15 shots faced. Zoltan Hetenyi stopped all seven shots faced in relief of Foster.
GAME NOTES: Forward A.J. Jenks registered his first Everblades point with an assist in the game…..Aaron Bogosian (2 assists), Matt Beca (2 assists), and David Rutherford (1g, 1a) each finished with two point games.
The two teams will meet again on Friday at U.S. Bank Arena. Game time is set for 7:35 p.m. The game will be broadcast on 96 K-Rock (96.1 FM), and online at www.floridaeverblades.com
Florida’s next home game is Wednesday, December 19 against the Orlando Solar Bears. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Fans can skate with Santa following the game. Every Wednesday game features $2 drafts, wines, and hot dogs all night long in the concourse.
Ticket Information: The Capital Bank Box Office is open Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Fans may also call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, or order online at www.ticketmaster.com
Partial-season packages are still available, and start as low as $150 and offer a flexible option for fans. These packages make for great holiday gifts for the hockey fan in your life! For more information on all available packages, call the Everblades office at 239-948-7825.