Saturday, March 11, 2000

Cyclones 4, Milwaukee 3

Down 3-1 late, they top Admirals in shootout

Enquirer contributor

        Three reasons why a Cincinnati-Milwaukee first-round International Hockey League playoff series would be a good one:

        • Friday's game at Firstar Center, when Cincinnati turned a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 shootout victory.

        • Wednesday's game at Bradley Center in Milwaukee, when the Admirals overcame a 4-1 shortage to claim a 5-4 shootout win.

        • Two weeks ago at Firstar Center, where Gilbert Dionne scored two goals in the final eight minutes to convert Cincinnati's one-goal deficit into the one-goal triumph.

        Cincinnati coach Ron Smith knows the formula for beating Milwaukee.

        “We found the secret — just get behind two goals,” Smith said. “We didn't get the job done when we were up three goals Wednesday.”

        The teams concluded their seven-game series last night in front of 9,607. Considering the Cyclones and Admirals have been playing leapfrog between fourth and fifth place in the Eastern Conference for about a month, there's no reason to think it will change anytime soon.

        “By the way the season's going, it would be a good series with (Milwaukee),” Felsner said. “But we're trying to get ahead of these guys and catch (third-place) Cleveland.”

        Gilbert Dionne and Pat MacLeod scored shootout goals to help Cincinnati to its fourth-straigh one-goal decision. The Cyclones are now 33-26-5, and stand three points ahead of fifth-place Milwaukee.

        Cincinnati's Stefan Ustorf scored just 16 seconds after Felsner's second goal early in the final period. Each team had several good chances the rest of the way to break the tie, though neither capitalized.

        Byron Ritchie, like Felsner a mis- season acquiree, assisted on both goals by the former Houston Aero All-Star. He said he's enjoyed the Cyclones-Admirals rivalry.

        “I like the games where you can get out and skate a little,” he said. “You can do that against Milwaukee, but it's still an intense series. It's a lot more entertaining when it's end-to-end than when you're just dumping the puck and there's a bunch of whistles.”

        Milwaukee ....... 3  0  0  03

        Cincinnati ....... 1  0  2M14


        First period: Mil, Fitzpatrick 2 (Bertrand, Riva); Cin, Felsner 15 (Willis, Ritchie) 10:46; Mil, Lintner 12 (Bertrand, Healey); Mil, Lintner (2) 13 (Cisar, Gosselin) 16:10 (ppg).

        Second period: None.

        Third period: Cin, Felsner (2) 16 (Willis, Ritchie) 5:56; Cin, Ustorf 18 (Adams, Dionne) 6:12.

        Shots on goal: Mil, 13-10-9=32; Cin, 13-15-7=35. Goalies: Mil, Mason (32 saves); Cin, Pelletier (29). Power plays: Mil, 1-for-2; Cin 0-for-4. Attendance: 9,607.


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