Froese's Late Strike Sends Cyclones Past Solar Bears, 2-1
CINCINNATI, Ohio - A late goal from Byron Froese and a solid performance between the pipes was enough to lift the Cyclones (3-0 playoffs) over the Orlando Solar Bears (0-3 playoffs) by a 2-1 final score in front of 1,784 at U.S. Bank Arena on Wednesday night. With the victory, the Cyclones take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Hot off a hat trick and a five-point performance in Game 2, Froese converted a timely game-winning goal, inching his team within one game toward advancement. Goaltender Rob Madore (W, 23 saves, 3-0 playoffs) was impressive in net, stopping all but one of the 24 shots he faced in the tilt.
Cincinnati set a fast and furious pace to start the game, spending much of the first period in the offensive zone. After successfully killing a minor penalty to Barry Almeida, the Cyclones continued to pressure Orlando's defense and net minder Maxime Clermont (L, 28 saves, 0-2-0-0). Although the home team outshot their Sunshine State opponent, 15-7, in the frame, the tilt remained scoreless as both clubs headed into the first intermission.
Momentum shifted a bit as the Solar Bears roared to life to begin the second stanza. It wasn't long, however, before the Cyclones stifled Orlando's newfound energy and opened scoring for the third time in the series. When defenseman Mike Dalhuisen blasted a shot from the blue line, Hazen tipped in his second tally of the playoffs at 8:46. The home team successfully killed 30 seconds of four-on-three hockey followed by 1:30 of an Orlando man advantage to close the frame. Despite being outshot 11-9 in the period, Cincinnati entered the final 20 minutes with a one-goal lead.
The Cyclones continued their prowess on the penalty kill in the final frame as they kept Orlando off the scoreboard for another 57 seconds of four-on-three hockey. The Solar Bears spoiled the shutout, however, when Mickey Lang scored the equalizer, his first tally of the playoffs, at 13:20. Fortunately for the home crowd, the Cyclones had the final say as Froese capitalized on an Orlando turnover and lit the lamp for the fourth time in the series at 16:35.
"It was a really tough game, a hard-fought battle, a low-scoring game," said Froese, who was named first star of the contest. "We like that. We like to play our game, keep calm, get pucks on net, and good things will happen."
"We don't want to change anything," he added about Game 4 on Friday. "Our game throughout the series has been really good. I think we've been really steady, really consistent, so I think we're just going to keep with our game and go get them on Friday."
The Cyclones will return to U.S. Bank Arena this Friday to resume their series against the Orlando Solar Bears for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals! All fans can enjoy $1 John Morrell Hot Dogs all night long! Single game playoff tickets and ticket packages are on sale NOW! Call 513.421.PUCK to reserve your seats! Fans can also get the latest team updates throughout the season on Facebook and Twitter (@CincyCyclones).
• Discuss this story on the ECHL message board...
ECHL Stories from April 23, 2014
- Wranglers Fall in Game Three at Home to Alaska, 5-1 - Las Vegas Wranglers
- Solar Bears Lose Nail-Biter 2-1 to Cincinnati - Orlando Solar Bears
- Froese's Late Strike Sends Cyclones Past Solar Bears, 2-1 - Cincinnati Cyclones
- Road Warriors Win Game Three in Overtime - Greenville Swamp Rabbits
- Berkstresser lifts Road Warriors past K-Wings in overtime - Kalamazoo Wings
- Condon Incredible Again in 1-0 Game Three Win - Wheeling Nailers
- Nailers Edge Stingrays 1-0 in Game 3 - South Carolina Stingrays
- Altitude Sports & Entertainment To Broadcast Game 5 - Colorado Eagles
- Condors Take Series Lead; Host Games Four and Five Thursday and Friday - Bakersfield Condors
- ECHL Transactions - April 23 - ECHL
- Playoff Preview - Ontario Reign vs. Stockton Thunder - Ontario Reign
- Thunder Go for Playoff Sweep at Ontario - Stockton Thunder
- Goaltender Igor Bobkov to Rejoin Utah in Bakersfield - Utah Grizzlies
- Stingrays Playoff Game Preview: Stingrays Battle Nailers in Game 3 Tonight in Wheeling, West Virgini - South Carolina Stingrays
- Cyclones Playoff Game Preview - Cincinnati vs. Orlando - Cincinnati Cyclones
- Game Preview: Solar Bears at Cincinnati Cyclones - April 23 - Orlando Solar Bears
- Game Preview: Road Warriors vs. Wings Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - Greenville Swamp Rabbits
- Nailers vs. Stingrays Game Day Snap Shot - Wheeling Nailers
- Countdown to Face-Off: K-Wings at Road Warrrios Game Three Eastern Conf. Quarters - Kalamazoo Wings
- ECHL Today - April 23 - ECHL
- Condors Rally in OT Thriller; Bakersfield Takes 2-Games-To-1 Series Lead - Bakersfield Condors
- Thunder Shock Reign 5-2, Take 3-0 Series Lead - Stockton Thunder
- Bakersfield Beats Utah in Overtime to Take 2-1 Series Lead - Utah Grizzlies
- Reign Can't Counter Thunder Strikes and Fall 5-2 - Ontario Reign
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.