CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Cincinnati Cyclones (12-4-2-0) got out to a fast start and never looked back as they took down the Evansville IceMen (6-14-0-1) by a final score of 6-1 in front of 4,705 at U.S. Bank Arena on Friday night. Rookie John McFarland had his first professional hat trick in the victory. It was the fourth straight win for the Cyclones.
McFarland scored the first goal of his professional career just 56 seconds into the opening frame. After Evansville turned the puck over in front of its own goal, Pelech sent a perfectly placed pass to McFarland who slammed it by goaltender Allen York (L, 0-1-0-0, 18 saves). For the fourth time in his last five games, Josh Shalla lit the lamp with a slap shot from the top of the left circle to give the Cyclones a 2-0 edge with 12:21 left in the first. Cincinnati’s third goal of the game came on the power play after Stefan Della Rovere was whistled for high sticking. Francois Bouchard tapped home a rebound at the 18:31 mark to give the Cyclones the 3-0 advantage, which they would take to the first intermission.
Cincinnati again scored on a power play opportunity at the 6:41 mark of the middle stanza. Maury Edwards blasted a shot from the point into the back of the net for his first lamp lighter of the year, extending the Cyclones cushion to 4-0. McFarland struck for the second time in the game on a cannon blast of his own from just inside the Evansville blue line with 6:15 left in the second. The hometown club led 5-0 through 40 minutes.
McFarland’s third goal of the night came in highlight reel fashion on the power play at 5:58 of the final period, as he took the puck from behind the Evansville net, wrapped around, and slipped it in past the left pad of Paul Karpowich - who replaced York in net for the IceMen at the beginning of the third. It was the first time a Cyclones player registered a hat trick this season. Evansville finally got on the board at 12:14 on a Jason Dale rebound shot that eluded Cyclones goaltender Magnus Hellberg (W, 26 saves, 1-0-0-0), making the score 6-1 Cincinnati. Things got physical in the final minutes as several players were sent to the dressing room for various infractions. In total, 95 penalty minutes were handed out between the two clubs in the contest. However, Cincinnati cruised to its fourth straight win and twelfth of the season by a 6-1 final score.
The Cyclones Radio Network Stars of the Game are as follows:
First Star: John McFarland (3 goals, 1 assist for Cincinnati)
Second Star: Mike Pelech (4 assists for Cincinnati)
Third Star: Maury Edwards (1 goal, 1 assist for Cincinnati)
Cincinnati will travel up I-75 to visit the Toledo Walleye tomorrow night for a 7:05 opening face-off at the Huntington Center.