BOISE, Idaho – Cincinnati Cyclones forward Mark Van Guilder scored a goal in the first minute of the game, but it was his goal in the final minute that gave the club a 3-2 win over the Idaho Steelheads on Friday night at Qwest Arena. Maxime Lacroix had a pair of assists in the triumph.
This was the first game of the 2010 Kelly Cup Finals featuring the American Conference champion Cincinnati Cyclones and the National Conference winner Idaho Steelheads. The best of seven series continues tomorrow night with the second game at Qwest Arena with a 9:10pm (ET) start. That contest will be carried on ESPN 1530.
The Cyclones scored the first goal of the game just 53 seconds in when Mark Van Guilder slipped a backhanded shot from the bottom of the left circle. It was Van Guilder's ninth of the playoffs and Maxime Lacroix had the assist on the score. Idaho would even the game at one each at 5:38 when Evan Barlow collected a turnover in the neutral zone and got loose for a breakaway goal, his eighth of the postseason. The Steelheads would rake the lead with a deflection goal in the slot from Mark McCutcheon, his eighth of the playoffs, at 9:05. Guillaume Moanst had the lone assist letting loose with a shot from the right point for McCutcheon to tip. The shots favored Idaho, 12-11, in the period.
Cincinnati tied the game at two apiece with the only goal of the second frame. At the 12:08, defenseman Reid Cashman ripped a shot from the top of the right circle for his first score of the playoffs on a Cyclones power play. Cashman nearly scored seconds earlier with a shot from the right point that rang off the crossbar. The shots in the middle stanza favored the Steelheads, 10-5.
The lone goal of the third period came on a power play marker from Van Guilder, his second of the night and fourth of the playoffs, with a backhanded effort from the left side of the net. The score with 49.2 seconds remaining secured the Cyclones their seventh come-from-behind win of the postseason. Lacroix and Jimmy Kilpatrick had the assists on the game winner.
The Cyclones also killed off three minutes of a major penalty during the frame without allowing any damage. The Steelheads also won the shots battle in the frame, 8-6, and 30-22 for the game. Robert Mayer collected the victory, his third of the playoffs, by turning away 28 shots. Rejean Beauchemin took the loss, knocking away 19 shots.
Cincinnati was two for six on the power play, while Idaho went scoreless in four chances.
The Cyclones posted a 44-25-3 record in the regular season and entered the postseason as the fifth placed team in the American Conference. Cincinnati upset fourth-seeded and defending Kelly Cup champion South Carolina in the opening round. The best of five series went the full five contests—the last three being decided in overtime, all at Charleston. In the semifinals, the Cyclones went a full seven games before knocking off Charlotte—the regular season American Conference champion. Cincinnati claimed the American Conference championship after rallying from a 3-0 deficit in the series with Reading and winning the final four games to advance.
Idaho had the ECHL's best regular season record with a 48-17-7 mark. The Steelheads enjoyed a first round bye and then swept Utah in four games before dispatching Stockton in six games. Idaho is looking to become the first team in ECHL history to record three Kelly Cup championships in a seven year span.
The series will come to Cincinnati for games three, four and five (if necessary) at U.S. Bank Arena. Game three would be held on Tuesday, May 18 with a 7:30pm start time. For playoff ticket package holders, this would be Game K. The fourth game would be played on Thursday, May 20 with another 7:30pm start. This would be Game L for playoff package holders. If a fifth game is needed, it would be played on Friday, May 21 at 7:30pm. The final possible game in Cincinnati for 2009-10 would be Game M in the playoff ticket package.
The Cyclones are offering a special Kelly Cup ticket package for fans. For $45 fans will be able to purchase tickets to games three, four and five of the championship series. This purchase price will allow fans the same great seats for all three potential games at U.S. Bank Arena and will be available only with phone orders to the Cyclones offices at 513-421-7825 x. 3. These will be on sale until 4pm on Tuesday, which will be the date of the first home game for Cincinnati. Individual tickets for games three and four are on sale now.
Tickets for the 2010-11 Cincinnati Cyclones season are now on sale, as well as for this round of the USA Collision Centers playoff chase. The Cyclones Sales Department can be reached at 513-421-PUCK, extension 3. All road Kelly Cup playoff games will be carried on ESPN 1530 and on the club's website at: