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Cyclones blank Reading, 3-0
CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- Barry Almeida scored two goals against his former team as the Cincinnati Cyclones (10-4-0-0) exacted sweet revenge and defeated the Reading Royals (9-5-0-0) by a 3-0 final score in front of 4,592 at U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday night.
Almeida recorded three points in the tilt as the Cyclones claimed the first meeting with the team that eliminated them from last years Kelly Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference Finals. Goaltender Michael Houser (W, 28 saves, 2-1-0-0) earned his first shutout of the season, turning aside all 28 shots he faced.
The Cyclones drew first blood when Barry Almeida buried his sixth goal of the season on a perfect hesitation pass from Logan Shaw at 9:49. Despite being outshot 9-3 in the frame, the Cyclones defense and goaltender Michael Houser held off the Royals for the remainder of the period and entered the first intermission with a one-goal advantage.
However, the home team didnt take long to pad their lead in the second stanza. Just 33 seconds into the period, Almeida delivered a pass through traffic to Josh Birkholz who dished it to defenseman Taylor Aronson for a beautiful tic-tac-toe tally. The Cyclones successfully killed three penalties and outshot the visitors 15-11 to close the frame, carrying their 2-0 lead into the final session.
We had a lot of attempts at the net in the first period, said Assistant Coach Matt Macdonald of the Cyclones impressive second period performance. In the second period, we were getting them through and a couple of them had eyes and we had a couple nice plays for some nice goals. I think that was it. We went in [the locker room after the first period] and we said we were playing well and obviously the shots for and against fell short, but the guys started capitalizing.
Almeida scored his second goal of the night on a blast that found its way past netminder Riley Gill (L, 27 saves, 6-3-0-0) at 6:01 of the final period.
[I was] playing a bunch of friends and the team that I played for last year, said Almeida. Obviously, a lot of time gone and I played well, but I prepared just as if it was any other game.
The Cyclones finished the night perfect on the penalty kill and secured the win by killing a four-minute double minor penalty to Logan Shaw. With the win, the Cyclones improve their home record to 5-2 on the season.
Its fun to go out there and play against the team that knocked us out last year, said Houser. I think a lot of the guys that were here were getting up for this one, so it was fun.
Image and information provided by the Cincinnati Cyclones