The Florida Everblades looked to solidify their playoff chances Friday night against Cincinnati, only to come up short against the Cyclones 5-2 at Germain Arena.
After a scoreless first period that featured several quality saves by Florida net minder Andy Iles (14 saves), the Blades and Cyclones combined for four goals in the second period. Cincinnati started the scoring 4:33 into the period after dominating the opening minutes with consistent pressure on Iles, figuring out Iles in the process.
The Everblades countered with a goal by A.J. Jenks on a one-timer from in front of the net 3:30 after Cincinnati's opening tally.
The teams played even until the last four minutes of the period, which saw the Cyclones score twice more, the last coming on a power play with just 1:08 to go before intermission.
"It deflated us," said Blades coach Greg Poss. "We didn't block the shot."
With Cincinnati unbeaten heading into the third period with a lead, the Everblades faced an uphill battle and would not win on this night, after failing to convert on their first power play of the game 5:34 into the third period. Cincinnati made it 4-1 a minute after their extra man returned to the ice.
"We started off with a good first period and I thought we were going to build off that, but we never did," said Poss. "We have a lot of good players, but there is just too many mistakes in the D-zone."
Mathieu Roy scored Florida's second goal on a deflection of a shot by Mike Little with 3:25 to play.
Cincinnati rounded out the scoring with an empty net goal after the Blades pulled Iles for a last ditch effort to force overtime in the final two minutes of the period.
With the loss, the Everblades (32-33) again are on the outside of the playoff picture as they head into their weekend rematch against the Cyclones Saturday night at Germain Arena.