EVANSVILLE, IN – The title of this article is not misleading you. Cincinnati goaltender, Neil Conway was without a doubt, the star of Saturday night’s tilt in Evansville. Conway turned aside 47 of the 50 IceMen shots he faced in the loss.
Cincinnati got started off the right way, as just 1:45 into the hockey game, Andrew Yogan from the top of the circle, turned and ripped a shot past a heavily screened Evansville goaltender in Matt Zenolza, to make it 1-0 Cincinnati early.
2nd period would start out almost identically. Just 1:29 into the middle frame, Mike Hammond would find a pinballing puck in the slot and redirect it top shelf past Zenolza to make it 2-0 Cincinnati.
Annnnnnnd, thus the snowballing begins.
When it seemed like the IceMen couldn’t solve Conway, late in the middle frame, they finally broke the levee as Matt Zay would find a loose puck in the slot and let a wicked backhand shot fly past Conway to pull the IceMen within 2-1. In the final minutes of the period, Daultan Levielle would sneak behind the Cincinnati defense, go forehand-to-backhand and roof it past Conway to make it a 2-2 game.
With just over a minute to play in the game, a Nathan Moon shot would bounce right to Jordan Sims, and on Evansville’s 49th shot of the game, they take their first lead of the night at 3-2. With 20 seconds left, Mike Duco would seal it with an empty netter, clinching the IceMen a 4-2 victory.
A tough pill to swallow if you’re a Cincinnati fan, but unfortunately, one man can’t do it all himself. Neil Conway was the only guy in a Cyclones jersey who showed up in Evansville. As a former goalie myself, I speak from experience, and a goalie isn’t going to be able to do much when the guys in front of him aren’t playing. The Cyclones got outshot 51-19. That’s right. 51 to freaking 19.
I can’t praise Conway enough for the job he has done these past few games. Each and every night, he has given the team a chance to win, stands on his head, but the guys in front of him haven’t put in their end of the deal.
Hopefully this game can be seen as a wake up call and the Cyclones snap out of their funk come Tuesday night when they host Midwest Division rival, Indy.