Heidinger's OT Goal Gives Cyclones 1-0 Win at SC
CHARLESTON, South Carolina - Cincinnati Cyclones rookie forward Josh Heidinger will never forget his first professional playoff game. Heidinger's shot from the left faceoff circle 16:49 into overtime gave the club a 1-0 win over the defending Kelly Cup champion South Carolina Stingrays. Cincinnati now leads the American Conference Quarterfinals best of five series, two games to one.
The play that ended the game started in the right corner, where captain Barret Ehgoetz flipped a pass in back of the net for rookie Will Ortiz. Ortiz slid the pack back the left point where defenseman Brock Sheahan wound for his bid to win the game. Sheahan broke his stick on the shot and the puck trickled ahead to Heidinger, who moved the puck to his forehand and lifted a shot over the arm of ECHL goaltending MVP Todd Ford for the only score of the night. The tally at 16:49 of overtime ended the longest extra session game in the league this season.
The first period had no scoring, although each team had one power play opportunity. The shots favored South Carolina, 8-5. The second period was also a scoreless affair. The Stingrays had one power play chance but was unable to convert. South Carolina also won the shots battle in the middle frame, 8-6.
There was no scoring in the third period, although a Mathieu Aubin shot off the crossbar on a power play gave Cincinnati its best chance. The shots were even in the frame at seven each.
In the overtime, the shots tilted Cincinnati's way-three to two. For the game, South Carolina outshot the Cyclones, 25-21. Cincinnati was zero for five on the power play, while the Stingrays were zero for three with the extra man.
Jeremy Smith, who leads the ECHL in playoff goals against average-improved those numbers with a 25 shot shutout. That was his first pro playoff shutout. Todd Ford suffered the defeat, kicking away 20 of the 21 shots he faced.
South Carolina, which posted a 41-19-12 regular season record-tied for the South Division and American Conference titles, is meeting the Cyclones (44-25-3-second in the North Division) in the Kelly Cup playoffs for the third straight year. In 2008, Cincinnati knocked off the Stingrays in a five-game conference championship series en route to taking the Kelly Cup. Last year, the Stingrays swept the Cyclones in the conference finals to capture their third league title. South Carolina is the fourth-seeded team, while Cincinnati is the fifth-seed.
The next game of the Cincinnati Cyclones USA Collision Centers postseason will be the fourth game of this best of five series, played at North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday night (April 10) at 7pm. The game will be carried on the internet at www.cycloneshockey.com and broadcast on ESPN 1530.
The winner of this series will meet the winner of the Charlotte-Toledo series. Charlotte leads that best of five affair, two games to one following a x-x win at home tonight. The best of seven American Conference Semifinals series will begin after April 14. In the other American Conference games, Reading defeated Kalamazoo, 5-2 and Florida beat Elmira, 6-2.
Tickets for the 2010-11 Cincinnati Cyclones season are now on sale. A special open house on Tuesday, April 13 from 4-8pm will allow fans a chance to see the facility up close and even skate on the ice. 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: www.cycloneshockey.com.
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