CHARLOTTE, NC—The Cincinnati Cyclones scored six straight goals in less than 20 minutes to battle back and win, 9-5, over the Charlotte Checkers in Game 3 on Wednesday evening in Ohio.
Cincinnati now leads the American Conference Semifinal series 2-1 and will host the Checkers again on Friday and Saturday.
Cyclones forward Maxime Lacroix led the way offensively with two goals and an assist while Checkers rookie Andrew Carroll added a goal and two assists in a losing effort.
Cincinnati opened the scoring when Lacroix buried a rebound from a Brett Motherwell point shot. The power-play goal came at the 2:11 mark of the first period.
Just a minute later, Aaron Slattengren evened the score at 1-1 when he ripped a shot past Cyclones netminder Jeremy Smith on the power play. Randy Rowe and Trevor Hendrikx picked up assists on the play.
Cincinnati then took its second lead of the game on a goal by leading scorer Barret Ehgoetz. A turnover in the Checkers’ end allowed Dustin Sproat to break in alone on Munce. Munce then poked the puck away but Ehgoetz was there to bang home the rebound.
Midway through the period, Charlotte went to work on the power play again and tied the game when Tyler Doig skated out from corner and fired a wrist shot into the top corner over the glove of Smith.
The Checkers then took their first lead of the game when Matt Stefanishion blasted a one-timer from the side wall that found the back of the net. The goal came at 1:35 of the second and was assisted by Doig and Carroll.
Cincinnati defenseman Doug Krantz tied at 3-3 with a shot from the top of the circle before Charlotte went ahead again on a goal by Carroll. The Checkers rookie won the faceoff back to David Marshall then grabbed the loose puck, spun around and fired it home for his third of the playoffs.
From there it was all Cyclones as they exploded for six goals in less than 20 minutes.
Ryan Del Monte started the onslaught when he beat Munce on the blocker side from the right wing side and Lacroix scored his second of the game, 37 seconds later, on a shorthanded 2-on-1.
Cincinnati added two more quick goals, 20 seconds apart, early in the third. Ian McKenzie beat Munce on the short side with a wrist shot before Jimmy Kilpatrick picked up a loose puck in front and stuffed it home. The goal made it 7-4 in favor of the Cyclones and brought Garrett Zemlak into the game in relief of Munce.
Mathieu Aubin made it 8-4 when he tipped home a point shot on the power play and Brett Robinson added another shorthanded tally for Cincinnati with less than five minutes to play.
Matt Schepke added a late goal for the Checkers but it wasn’t enough as the Cyclones walked away with the 9-5 victory.
Charlotte (4-3) will battle the Cyclones again on Friday and Saturday in Cincinnati. Ticket information for Games 6 and 7, if necessary, can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com/playoffs. Season tickets for the inaugural 2010-11 AHL season are now on sale and 40-game packages start as low as $200.
Notes: Charlotte is 11-2 in its last 13 home games…David Marshall leads the Checkers with eight points (4g, 4a) while Mike Taylor leads the team with five goals…Marshall is on a five-game point streak (4g, 2a)…Charlotte clinched its first division title and #1 conference seed in franchise history heading into the playoffs...Ryan Munce led the ECHL in save percentage (.913), was third in wins (26) and was named ECHL Goaltender of the Month for March…Andrew Carroll led the Checkers this season with 30 goals, including six game winners.
Charlotte Checkers 5 At Cincinnati Cyclones 9 - Status: Final
Apr 21, 2010 - U.S. Bank Arena
Charlotte 2 2 1 - 5
Cincinnati 2 3 4 - 9
1st Period-1, Cincinnati, Lacroix 2 (Motherwell, Kilpatrick), 2:11 (pp). 2, Charlotte, Slattengren 1 (Rowe, Hendrikx), 3:15 (pp). 3, Cincinnati, Ehgoetz 5 (Sproat), 7:35. 4, Charlotte, Doig 1 (Carroll, Brouillette), 8:59 (pp). Penalties-Slattengren Chr (hooking), 1:54; Benson Cin (roughing), 2:35; Stefanishion Chr (roughing), 3:31; Jozsa Cin (delay of game), 7:43; Taylor Chr (hooking), 13:11.
2nd Period-5, Charlotte, Stefanishion 3 (Doig, Carroll), 1:35. 6, Cincinnati, Krantz 1 (Aubin, O'Hanley), 3:05. 7, Charlotte, Carroll 3 (Marshall, Schepke), 5:11. 8, Cincinnati, Del Monte 1 (Benson, O'Hanley), 18:21. 9, Cincinnati, Lacroix 3 (Ehgoetz), 18:58 (sh). Penalties-Reynolds Chr (roughing), 3:05; Robinson Cin (holding the stick), 13:43; Motherwell Cin (hooking), 18:31; Carroll Chr (interference on the goalkeeper), 19:55.
3rd Period-10, Cincinnati, McKenzie 2 (Motherwell, Kilpatrick), 0:50 (pp). 11, Cincinnati, Kilpatrick 5 (Pierce), 1:10. 12, Cincinnati, Aubin 1 (Jozsa, Lacroix), 12:26 (pp). 13, Cincinnati, Robinson 2 (Sheahan), 15:52 (sh). 14, Charlotte, Schepke 2 (Rowe, Hendrikx), 17:55. Penalties-Reynolds Chr (hooking), 3:58; Kilpatrick Cin (slashing ), 5:16; Leveille Chr (interference on the goalkeeper), 11:43; Ehgoetz Cin (hooking), 14:14.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 11-15-16-42. Cincinnati 11-6-7-24.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 2 of 6; Cincinnati 3 of 7.
Goalies-Charlotte, Munce 4-3-0-0 (19 shots-12 saves); Zemlak 0-0-0-0 (5 shots-3 saves). Cincinnati, Smith 5-2-1-0 (42 shots-37 saves).
Referees-Keith Kaval (20).
Linesmen-Ray King (39), Matt Macpherson (83).