The IceMen began their two-game series with the Cincinnati Cyclones short-sided at the U.S. Bank Arena in downtown Cincinnati on Wednesday night. The Cyclones were lead by Forward Josh Shalla, who produced two goals for Cincinnati, and was voted the game's first star.
Shalla gave the Cyclones a 1-0 lead, scoring the game's opening goal 13:35 into the first period. Cincinnati Defensemen Brian O'Hanley and Chris Reed assisted on Shalla's first of two goals.
Equalizing and scoring Evansville's lone goal of the game was Right Winger Nathan Moon on the power play just over two minutes later at the 15:31 point of the first period. Credited with the helpers on Moon's fifth goal of the season were IceMen Left Winger Josh Beaulieu and Defenseman Matt Gens. The 1-1 tie held for the remainder of the first period.
The second Cyclones goal came 11:00 into the second period when Cincinnati Forward Mattias Lindstrom lit the lamp for what held as the game-winner. The pivotal net-seeking tally came just five seconds after an expiring interference penalty committed by IceMen Defenseman Daniel Tetrault. Assisting on the Lindstrom's second goal of the season were Cincinnati Forwards Garrett Wilson and Michael Pelech. Lidstrom's game-winning goal earned him the game's second star. Wilson was voted the third star, finishing with two assists.
Giving the Cyclones a two-goal lead that took into the third period was Shalla, scoring for the second time on Wednesday night. Shalla's goal came 18:37 into the second period and was assisted by Cyclones Forward John McFadden. Receiving the second assist was Wilson. Shalla has scored seven goals in just eight games for Cincinnati this season.
Cincinnati protected their 3-1 lead in the third period, giving Evansville only one power play opportunity in the entire frame. The penalty was called on Cyclones Forward Andre Bouvet-Morrissette for slashing 7:50 into the final period, but the IceMen were unable to capitalize. Evansville's power play went 1-for-5 on the night, a 20 percent success rate.
Adding an empty-net goal for Cincinnati was Forward Mathieu Aubin. The unassisted, put-away goal came with 58 seconds remaining in regulation.
Evansville was outshot by Cincinnati on the night, 31-21, and have now been outshot in 16 of their first 20 games this season. The IceMen, however, have only one victory this season when outshooting an opponent. They have won five of their six games while being on the short end of the shots on goal department.
The winning goaltender was Cincinnati's Brian Foster, who saved 20 of Evansville's 21 shots. He concluded the game with a strong .952 save percentage, and has yet to lose a game in nine appearances.
IceMen Goaltender Paul Karpowich was tagged with the loss after making his second consecutive start for Evansville. He saved 27-of-30 shots faced, accumulating a .900 save percentage. Karpowich, who has appeared in 10 games, is now (3-6-0) on the season.
Evansville's penalty killing unit remained hearty, stopping all six of Cincinnati's power play opportunities. The Cyclones have not mustered a power play goal against the IceMen in two games, going 0-for-11. The IceMen shorthanded unit has killed off 14 straight opposing power plays, and have killed 46 of the last 51 penalties they have faced.
Along with the special teams, other bright spots for the IceMen on Wednesday night included the return of Defenseman Jesse Perrin, who had missed the previous 14 games due to injury. Also retuning to the team after a short absence was Center Patrick Kennedy, who served a one-game suspension for a game-misconduct boarding penalty he committed on Friday in the 3-2 loss in Trenton.
Giving Evansville a rare and full 18-man roster was Left Winger Stephan Della Rovere, who made his IceMen debut after being assigned to Evansville by the St. Louis Blues through AHL affiliate Peoria Rivermen.
With the loss, Evansville declines to 20(6-13-1)13 on the season and are now 9(0-9-0) when trailing after the first period. The IceMen have lost 4-of-5 games, producing nine goals during that stretch.