EVANSVILLE, Indiana – Newcomer Andrew Conboy’s first goal as a Cyclone proved to be the game-winner as the Cincinnati Cyclones (19-9-2-0) erased a 3-1 deficit to rally for a 4-3 win over the Evansville IceMen (11-19-0-3) in front of 5,798 at Ford Center on Saturday night. It was the seventh come-from-behind victory for Cincinnati in 2012-13.
The IceMen didn’t waste much time to take a lead in the opening period as Kevin Baker and Matt Schepke each scored goals just 36 seconds apart beginning at 3:45 and took a 2-0 lead. Cincinnati’s John McFarland answered back with a goal of his own at the 5:54 mark when he buried a rebound past Paul Karpowich (L, 36 saves, 4-7-0-1) – cutting the Cyclones deficit to 2-1 through 20 minutes.
For the second time in the game, the IceMen were able to light the lamp during a delayed penalty. With the extra skater on the ice, Schepke beat Zoltan Hetenyi (W, 28 saves, 3-4-0) for a second time on a rebound at 7:27 to extend the Evansville cushion to 3-1. And despite outshooting their opponents in the middle period by a 16-10 total, the Cyclones trailed it 3-1 at the second intermission.
The Cyclones comeback began swiftly in the third period as, during a Cincinnati power play, Mathieu Aubin deflected home his sixth goal of the season at the 4:05 mark to pull his team within one. Then, just 1:18 later, Josh Birkholz blocked a shot during a penalty kill and rushed up ice on a partial breakaway; just outside the right circle the talented rookie blasted in his first-career shorthanded goal to knot the score at three. For the next ten minutes or so, both teams frantically tried to break the deadlock but were unsuccessful. However, with under two minutes to play, David Pacan pushed the puck toward the Evansville net off of a face-off and Andrew Conboy slid in the loose puck for his first Cyclones goal, which proved to be the game winner, making it a 4-3 game in favor of Cincinnati. In the final seconds, with the extra attacker, Evansville had two great chances to tie it but Hetenyi stood tall and preserved the Cyclones’ seventh come-from-behind victory, 4-3.
The Cyclones Radio Network Stars of the Game are as follows:
First Star: John McFarland (1 goal, 1 assist for Cincinnati)
Second Star: Matt Schepke (2 goals for Evansville)
Third Star: Kevin Baker (1 goal for Evansville)
After an off day tomorrow, the Cyclones will visit the Kalamazoo Wings on New Years Eve at 7:00pm from Wings Stadium. Fans can hear all the action on the Cyclones Radio Network (CyclonesHockey.com/America One/Cyclones Mobile App) beginning at 6:45pm.
The Cyclones will return to the ice at U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday, January 5 when they play host to the Fort Wayne Komets at 7:30pm