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Cyclones win in a shootout, 2-1
CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- Philippe Cornet and Barry Almeida scored crucial shootout goals as the Cincinnati Cyclones (8-2-0-0) defeated the Greenville Road Warriors (4-7-0-1) by a 2-1 final score on Star Wars Night in front of 5,529 at U.S. Bank Arena on Friday night.
Fortunately for the home team, the force was especially strong with goaltender Michael Houser (W, 35 saves, 1-0-0-0), who turned aside 35 of 36 shots in his first ECHL start of the year since being reassigned to the club by the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League. While both teams were held scoreless in the first frame, the Cyclones dictated the pace on the ice, outshooting the Road Warriors, 11-6 kept the visitors out of the back of the net.
The Road Warriors struck back in the second stanza, peppering the netminder with a barrage of shots until Michael St. Croix scored his second goal of the season on a glove-side blast at 12:44. Although the Cyclones were outshot 19-8 in the middle frame, Josh Birkholz evened the score with his first goal of the season, a snipe that beat goaltender Jeff Malcolm (L, 29 saves, 1-2-0-1) top-shelf at 14:54, and both teams entered the second intermission with the score tied, 1-1.
The Cyclones created a few solid scoring opportunities in the third period, but both teams failed to convert, sending the game to overtime. After a scoreless bonus session, Houser stopped Marc-Olivier Vallerand on the first attempt of the shootout. Seconds later, Philippe Cornet, who was also recently reassigned to the Cyclones by the Rampage, scored his first goal as a Cyclone, beating Malcolm glove-side. Houser made another timely stop on St. Croix before Barry Almeida scored what proved to be the game-winning shootout goal. Houser also stopped shots by Andrew Rowe and Brandon Hynes to secure the extra point in the standings for the home team.
"I've been working on that move," said Almeida of his shootout goal. "I kind of just shoot it glove-side as I move it. They're a good team and I thought we played pretty well. [Houser] stood on his head for us and played great."
The Cyclones will close out a busy week tomorrow night in Kalamazoo, when they'll face the Wings for the third time in two weeks at 7:30pm.
Information courtesy of the Cincinnati Cyclones