ESTERO, FL – Matt Smyth scored twice to lead the Cincinnati Cyclones to a 6-2 victory over the Florida Everblades Friday night at Germain Arena.
The Cyclones stormed out of the gates and logged the game’s first goal just 1:13 into the contest. J.T. MacDonald grabbed the loose puck in the slot and instantly hurled a shot toward the net which clipped off the blocker of goaltender Jesse Deckert for the goal to put Cincinnati up by one after the first period.
Cincinnati added to their lead when Mike Embach snuck a shot from the right wing circle past Deckert to extend the lead to 2-0 halfway through the middle frame.
The Everblades continued to press and outshot the Cyclones 19-7 in the second period, and was able to get on the board at the 15:18 mark. Brent Henley gathered the puck at the right wing circle and fired it past the right leg pad of Cyclones goaltender Michael Houser to pull the Everblades within one.
The Cyclones added to their lead with 26 seconds remaining in the period when Mike Smyth registered his seventh goal of the season to put the score at 3-1 after 40 minutes played.
In the third, Cincinnati received a power play opportunity just 16 seconds into period. A failed clearing attempted ended up in the stick of Mathieu Aubin at the point. Aubin fired a shot which was stopped by Deckert, but the rebound bounced to Justin Vaive who backhanded the puck into the net for the goal to extend the lead to 4-1. The goal chased Deckert from the game, who was relieved by newcomer Zeke Testa.
Five minutes later, Smyth struck again leading a 2-on-1 rush into the zone. Smyth eyed the trailer on the far side, but called his own number send a wrist shot past Testa on the shortside to give his team the 5-1 advantage.
The Everblades got back on the board at 15:21 on a goal by Mathieu Roy. Roy received a stretch pass into the zone and took off behind the defense and toward the front of the Cyclones net. Roy made a deke move and shoved the puck around Houser for his 33rd goal of the season to pull Florida within three. Roy’s goal put him for the league lead in points with 75 at the conclusion of the game.
Florida rolled the dice and pulled the goaltender to allow for the extra attacker, but Mathieu Aubin scored an empty net goal to secure the Cyclones victory by a 6-2 count.
Houser earns the win allowing just two goals on 38 shots faced, while Deckert suffers his first loss of the season, allowing four goals on 18 shots faced. Testa turned aside eight of nine shots faced in a relief effort.
GAME NOTES: Prior to the game goaltender Pat Nagle was recalled to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League. The Everblades also added four new players to their roster on Friday; Forwards Brandon Nunn (Holy Cross College). Shawn O’Donnell (St. Mary’s Univ.), Anthony Hayes (Michigan State), and goaltender Zeke Testa (Babson College)….Newcomer Mike Cornell recorded an assist in his pro debut.
The two teams meet again on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. The McDonald’s tailgate starts at 5:00 p.m. featuring live music, along with bounces houses and face painting for the kids. And can take advantage of the Saturday Family Special which features 4-tickets, 4-hot dogs, and 4-soads for just $56.
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.