2011 ECHL All-Star Brian O'Hanley netted the game winner in round six of the shootout to give the Cincinnati Cyclones (14-13-5-2) a 6-5 win and a three-game sweep of the Florida Everblades (21-16-0-2) at Germain Arena on Saturday night.
Just like last night, Florida jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as Alexandre Imbeault scored his team-leading 18th goal of the season by beating Cyclones goalie Marc Cheverie (W, 25 saves, 12-7-2-2) on a two-on-one rush. However, Cincinnati responded with a pair of goals of its own; the first one came at 5:12 when T.J. Fast stepped out of the corner and sniped a wrist shot over the glove-side shoulder of Everblades goalie Bobby Goepfert (L, 42 saves, 13-8-0-2) to knot the score. Then, at the 16:58 mark, Matt Pierce finished a strong shift by scoring a similar goal just outside the right circle to give Cincinnati at 2-1 lead through the opening frame.
The second period was, in a word, physical. As tempers flared in the series finale, 11 penalties were whistled in the stanza – many of which coming after the play had already ended. Yet, the Cyclones padded their lead at 8:08 when Brian O'Hanley blasted home his sixth goal of the year on the power play, making it 3-1. However, on a Florida power play, Bobby Raymond batted home a one-timer with just 21 seconds left to pull his team within a goal, 3-2 at the second intermission.
The third period brought on an offensive explosion, with a combined five goals scored in the final frame of regulation. Cincinnati temporarily extended their lead when Pierce tallied his second of the night only 32 seconds in, making it 4-2. However, the Everblades raced back with goals from Francis Lemiuex and Imbeault only one minute apart to tie the score at four. At exactly the 15:00 mark, Sam D'Agostino poked home the go-ahead goal underneath a sea of bodies to push the Cyclones out front again, 5-4. Unfortunately, though, with just 1:03 left in regulation Bobby Raymond followed with a similar tally to once again even the score and send the teams in to overtime.
Thanks to a couple of Florida penalties, the Cyclones enjoyed a power play in the early going of the extra session but couldn't bury the game-winner. So for the fourth time this season, the Cyclones decided their fate in the shootout. In the shootout, Piece, and Mathieu Aubin lit the lamp for Cincinnati while Florida's Imbeault and Ernie Hartlieb found the net as well. With five shooters down, it came down to round number 6; the Everblades David Fischer was stopped easily by Cheverie and then Brian O'Hanley followed with the game-winner for Cincinnati to earn his team the extra point – 6-5 the final.