CINCINNATI — The Florida Everblades scored three times in less than 10 minutes to start the third period, but their comeback attempt fell just short in a 5-3 loss to the Cincinnati Cyclones on Wednesday night at U.S. Bank Arena.
Trailing 4-0 at the outset of the final period of regulation, Florida (4-2-0-0, 8 pts.) erupted to close the gap to only one goal, but the Cyclones (3-1-1-0, 7 pt.) scored on Florida’s empty net in the last minute of the game to prevent a third-period collapse.
Florida defenseman Logan Roe started the scoring for Florida with a power-play strike only 2:49 into the third. Hunter Garlent found Justin Auger at the left goal line extended, and Auger immediately fired a cross-crease pass to Roe. From just outside the right side of the crease, Roe hammered the one-timer past Cyclones goaltender Sean Romeo to make it 4-1.
Roe then helped create the second goal to pull Florida within two. Standing in the high slot, Roe hammered it on net. Michael Huntebrinker swiped the rebound on goal, and Zach Magwood converted on the third opportunity with six minutes, 35 seconds gone in the third.
Florida captain John McCarron registered his first goal of the year less than four minutes later to whittle the deficit to one. Blake Winiecki worked his way inside the left circle and dished to the slot for McCarron, who kicked the pass to his stick and rifled it past Romeo.
The Everblades had a chance to even the score on a power play less than 30 seconds after McCarron’s goal, but Romeo made a lunging pad save to preserve the lead for Cincinnati. Florida outshot the Cyclones by nine (12-3) in the third period and kept the pressure in the Cincinnati defensive zone.
After going without a shot in the first five minutes of the game, Cincinnati struck on its first shot to take a 1-0 lead. Justin Baudry picked up the puck at the top of the left circle, carried to the slot and then turned and fired a snap shot past Everblades goaltender Ken Appleby at the 5:55 mark of the first.
Cincinnati scored twice more in the opening frame to extend its lead to three heading into the first intermission. Kurt Gosselin tallied on a rush off a feed from Justin Vaive to push the Cyclones’ edge to 2-0. Then, with less than a minute left in the first, Jesse Schultz netted his second goal of the season on a five-on-three power play to bring the Cyclones advantage to three.
The Cyclones added a fourth goal with 7:33 to play in the second period. Darik Angeli’s tried to thread a pass from the left wing to the back post, and the pass deflected off Schultz’s skate and past Appleby.
NOTESRoe had his second goal of the season and is already halfway to his goal output from a season ago through just six games. He added an assist for his second multi-point game of the year…Florida allowed just 22 shots on goal, the fourth time in six games it has held its opponent to less than 30 shots…The Everblades yielded the first goal of the game for the sixth straight game to start the season…Wednesday was the first time this season that Florida has been involved in a contest that utilized the ECHL’s new video replay system. Cincinnati’s fourth goal was reviewed and eventually upheld.
NEXT UPFlorida travels to Fort Wayne for a Friday night matchup with the Komets. Faceoff is slated for 8:05 p.m. ET at Memorial Coliseum.
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