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Cyclones take down Evansville 4-1
CINCINNATI, Ohio (WKRC) -- Byron Froese found the back of the net twice as the Cyclones (38-22-3-4) rallied to score four unanswered goals and defeat the Evansville IceMen (29-28-4-7) by a 4-1 final score in front of 1,808 at U.S. Bank Arena on Thursday night. Cincinnati converted twice on the power play while netminder Magnus Hellberg (W, 27 saves, 2-0-1-0) stood solid between the pipes, stopping all but one of the 28 shots he faced in the tilt. Defenseman Andrew Blazek, who was signed by Cincinnati on Tuesday, recorded the first professional point of his career in the win. The victory gives the Cyclones two valuable points in the Eastern Conference standings and trims their magic number to two.
The IceMen were aggressive from the jump, setting a quick pace and holding the Cyclones without a shot on goal for the first ten minutes of the game. The visitors efforts paid off when Dylan Clarke buried a rebound at 3:18, giving his team an early lead. The Cyclones responded by successfully killing a penalty and nearly capitalizing on a shorthanded breakaway chance by Josh Birkholz. When Kellan Tochkin was called for hooking shortly thereafter, Paul Crowder found a streaking Froese, who promptly notched the power play equalizer at 13:38. Both teams were held scoreless for the remainder of the period and entered the first intermission knotted at one, despite Cincinnati being outshot 15-5 in the frame.
The deadlock was short-lived, however, as Cincinnati blazed to life and lit the lamp twice to start the second stanza. The first tally came when Froese tipped in a shot by Matt Tinordi at 1:39.
I was just trying to get to the net, he said of his second goal of the night. I was yelling for [Tinordi] to give me the puck. I chirped him on the bench saying he should have hit my stick, but he put it off my skate and it went in. Good bounce.
Less than two minutes later, an impressive pass from Joe Basaraba allowed Josh Shalla to blast his 11th of the season past goaltender Mike Clemente (L, 29 saves, 18-17-1-4) at 3:19. The Cyclones continued to pressure the IceMen, outshooting them 18-5 in the period, and carried their two-goal advantage into the final frame.
Tempers flared a bit when Mike Dalhuisen and former Cyclone Antoine Corbin dropped the gloves, but cooler heads prevailed for the Cyclones as they successfully killed their second penalty of the night. When Clarke was assessed a double minor for high-sticking, the home team sealed the win with a timely tally from Dalhuisen, his ninth of the season, at 18:23.
We deserved [a win] last night, Froese said of the teams 3-2 overtime loss to the Fort Wayne Komets. We deserved two points, but this was a good way to respond and come out and give our best 60-minute effort in a long time.
Every game is huge coming down the stretch, he added. We have to get on a roll going into the playoffs.
Cincinnati will close out its three-game week with a return trip to Fort Wayne tomorrow night. The teams will drop the puck at Memorial Coliseum at 7:30pm with pregame coverage beginning on the Cyclones Radio Network (CyclonesHockey.com, America One, Cyclones Mobile App) at 7:00pm.
Image and information provided by the Cincinnati Cyclones