ESTERO, FL – Newcomer Rocco Carzo scored two shorthanded goals in a 2:37 span to help lead the Florida Everblades to a 5-1 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones at Germain Arena Saturday night. The win clinches a berth in the ECHL playoffs for the Everblades for the 15th consecutive season.
The Cyclones controlled the tempo in the opening period, and scored first on the power play at the 18:49 mark. Mike Embach held the puck at the bottom of the right circle and attempted a pass across the crease. Florida goaltender Jesse Deckert reached out to break up the play, but the puck clipped off his blocker and redirected into the net for the power play goal. The goal was fifth of the season for Embach against the ‘Blades this season, and the Cyclones took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Things appeared to get worse for Florida early in the second as a five-minute major penalty was called against Brent Henley. However, Florida tied the game on the ensuing penalty kill, as newcomer Rocco Carzo broke up a pass up at the point and took off on a shorthanded breakaway. Carzo broke toward the net and wristed a shot past the blocker of Cincinnati netminder Michael Houser for the goal. The shorthanded marker was the first pro goal for Carzo who was playing in just his second game.
Just a few moments later, while on the same penalty kill, Carzo created another shorthanded breakaway. Carzo a second goal on Houser in a carbon copy fashion to give the Everblades the 2-1 advantage.
Less than five minutes later, Carzo assisted on the ‘Blades next goal as he worked the puck to Mathieu Roy on the right side of the slot. Roy sent a bouncing puck to the top of the crease. Matthew Pistilli crashed the net and swatted at the puck, deflecting it off the shoulder of Houser and into the net to put the score at 3-1.
The Everblades continued to roll in the second, and converted on the power play. Former Cyclone Maury Edwards blasted a slapshot from the blue line which hit off the bottom of the cross bar and into the net to extend the Florida lead to three after 40 minutes played.
Florida started the third on the power play, and converted just 22 second into the period. Mathieu Roy fielded a pass on the right side of the net, and delivered a backhanded no-look feed across the crease to Pistilli. Pistilli buried the puck on the backside for his second goal of the game to put the ‘Blades lead to 5-1
Deckert turned aside all 11 Cyclone shots in the final period of regulation to secure the 5-1 win for Florida.
Deckert earns the win stopping 23 of 24 shots faced, while Houser takes the loss allowing four goals on 14 shots faced. Andrew D'Agostini stopped four of five shots faced in a relief effort in the third.
GAME NOTES: Captain Mathieu Roy finished the game with two assists, giving him a league best 77 points. Carzo finished the game with two goals, an assist, and a +3 rating. Shawn O’Donnell logged his first pro point with an assist in the second period.
The Everblades will now travel to Orlando for a two-game set against the Solar Bears on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both games will be broadcast on 96 K-Rock (96.1) or online at www.floridaeverblades.com
The Everblades return home for Fan Appreciation Weekend on Friday, March 29 & Saturday, March 30 against the Orlando Solar Bears! For both nights, the first 2,500 fans will receive an Everblades Team Photo courtesy of FGCU. Fans will also have an opportunity to win some great prizes throughout both games. Friday’s game is Team Awards Night; the awardsceremony will take place prior to the game. There will be a Player’s jersey auction following Saturday’s game.
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
Group discounts are also available, and can save fans up $8 off per ticket from the normal box office price. Playoff ticket packages, as well as 2003-14 Season Ticket packages are currently on sale! For more information on all available packages, call the Everblades office at 239-948-7825.