Rookie Mike McKenzie potted a pair of goals as his Florida Everblades (14-9-0-0) got past the Cincinnati Cyclones (8-7-5-1) by a 4-2 final in front of 3,510 at U.S. Bank Arena on Friday night.
The Cyclones found the net just 2:18 into the opening frame as Dustin Sproat let go a backhanded laser over the glove-side shoulder of Florida goalie Bobby Goepfert (W, 34 saves, 7-6-0-0) to give Cincinnati an early 1-0 lead. However, the Everblades answered back with a pair of goals; the first came at the 12:05 mark when Jared Staal pushed home a loose puck to knot the score at one. Then, at 18:07, Francis Lemieux one-timed a blast behind Cyclones goalie Marc Cheverie (L, 20 saves, 7-3-2-1) to put the Everblades on top 2-1 through 20 minutes.
In the middle frame, Florida grabbed a two-goal cushion at 1:43 when Mike McKenzie buried his seventh goal of the season for a 3-1 lead. Luckily, Cincinnati was able to answer with a goal of its own at 9:18 as a Mathieu Aubin wrist shot rang off the goal post and deflected right to the stick of Scott Reynolds; the long-time Cyclone easily slid it home for his seventh of the season, cutting the deficit to one.
The Cyclones had several scoring chances early in the third, but all were thwarted by Goepfert as he continued to hold the lead. Then, at the 15:55 mark, the Everblades added an insurance goal when Mike McKenzie slammed home his second of the night on a one-timer – capping off the scoring at 4-2.