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Cyclones earn a 6-5 victory in a shootout over Evansville

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- Josh Shalla scored the game-winner and Jonathan Hazen turned in a three-point performance as the Cyclones (31-20-1-2) defeated the Evansville IceMen (25-18-3-7) in a shootout by a 6-5 final score in front of 7,177 at U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday's Pink in the Rink Night. After falling to Evansville in a shootout last night, the Cyclones exacted some sweet revenge by overcoming two separate two-goal deficits to secure the victory. Trevor Lewis, Paul Crowder, and Taylor Aronson each notched two points in a win that gives the Cyclones two valuable points in the tight Eastern Conference standings. Thanks to his impressive performance, Hazen has now recorded points in nine of his last ten games.

Unfortunately for the home crowd, the Cyclones faced an uphill battle early as the IceMen scored twice to kick off the tilt. When Joe Howe (W, 28 saves, 11-3-1-0) made a pad save that bounced into the crease, Louke Oakley buried the loose puck, giving his team the lead at 1:31. 95 seconds later, Matt Schepke, Evansville's leading goal scorer, capitalized on an odd-man rush and recorded his 21st tally of the season.

But when Matt Krug was called for delay of game, Hazen converted a crucial power play goal that drew the Cyclones within one at 7:22. The goal gave the home team new life as they continued to battle back against their Hoosier State foes. Although it was initially waived off by the referee, Anthony Luciani, knotted the game with his 20th lamp-lighter of the season at 12:44. The tie was short-lived, however, as Kellan Tochkin scored on an IceMen power play opportunity with just 0.7 seconds remaining in the period. Despite being outshot 25-8 in the frame, the Cyclones entered the first intermission trailing by only one.

Just over halfway through the second stanza, Howe, who was injured during a collision in the crease, was replaced between the pipes by Rob Madore. The netminder was tested early and shortly after the Cyclones successfully killed a penalty, Matt Lowry potted his 11th of the season at 15:38, giving the IceMen a 4-2 lead that they carried into the final frame.

However, the Cyclones mounted a furious comeback attempt in the third period, scoring three unanswered to take their first lead of the game. The scoring started when David MacDonald redirected and tipped his third of the season past goaltender Garrett Bartus (L, 31 saves, 7-5-3-3)and just under the crossbar at 6:17. 29 second later, Hazen notched his second of the night, tying the game at four. With momentum on their side, Cincinnati finally took the lead when Trevor Lewis converted the go-ahead goal, his 12th of the season, off the post and into the net at 9:02. Evansville answered back with their own tying tally when Mike Seidel redirected a shot past Madore at 12:19 and the tilt headed into overtime.

After a scoreless bonus session, Josh Shalla scored the only goal of the shootout while Madore stopped every attempt by the IceMen, securing the impressive comeback win for the home team.

"Obviously, that's never the way you want to win a game," said Madore, who was named first star of the game. "I've never seen a response quite like that from the guys in the third period...It's part of my job to be ready. Howe was playing a great game. I was just hoping to get in there and keep that going."

"Yesterday, we were kind of unlucky," Hazen reflected. "Shalla hit a post and Trevor Lewis hit a post, too. Tonight, [Shalla] put it in and Madore was very good in the shootout." "We have to be better defensively," he added, looking ahead to tomorrow's game against the Nailers. "We have to forecheck better, too. It's a big game...we have to win a lot of games because the [standings] are pretty tight."

Madore reiterated the importance of winning as many games as possible heading down the stretch of the regular season.

"Every game right now is very important," he said. "The standings are really tight between tenth place in the conference to second place in the conference...Especially when you're playing against a team that is playing to get in or stay in, every game is basically a four-point game."

The Cyclones close out their busy weekend on the road tomorrow afternoon in Wheeling as they tussle with the Nailers at 3:00pm. Fans can hear all the action of the game on the Cyclones Radio Network (CyclonesHockey.com, America One, Cyclones Mobile App) beginning at 2:30pm.

Information provided by the Cincinnati Cyclones

 

 

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