Saturday, May 3, 2003

ECHL: Cyclones even series

The Enquirer and wire reports

ATLANTIC CITY - The Cincinnati Cyclones, facing elimination for the third consecutive game, defeated the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies 4-3 in the Northern Conference finals to force a Game 7 tonight (7:35) for the right to advance to the Kelly Cup Finals.

No team in the history of the 15-year ECHL has rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-7 series.

Cincinnati was backstopped by rookie netminder Peter Hamerlik, who finished with 28 saves for his third straight win.

The Cyclones grabbed a 2-1 lead after the first period. Defenseman Ryan Gaucher opened the scoring at 3:01 for the Cyclones.

Atlantic City's Kevin Colley answered with a power-play goal to tie the game at 1-1.

Forward Mike Casselman gave Cincinnati the lead for good with a power-play goal at 16:35 of the first period.

Cincinnati captain Nick Bootland extended the lead to 3-1 and 4-2 with his team-leading ninth and 10th tallies of the playoffs.

Atlantic City111-3

First period: 1. Cin, Gaucher 2 (Twordik) 3:01; 2. AC Colley 8 (Curtin, Furey) ppg, 4:32; 3. Cin, Casselman 3 (Gaucher) ppg, 16:35.

Second period: 4. Cin, Bootland 9 (unassisted) 12:49; 5. AC Henkel 2 (Caudron, Galbraith) 14:42.

Third period: 6. Cin, Bootland 10 (Casselman) 6:26; 7. AC, Galbraith 2 (Henkel, Nicholishen) 7:57.

Power plays: Cin 1-for-4; AC 1-for-5. Goaltenders: Cin, Peter Hamerlik (3-0 playoff record; 28 saves, 32 shots). AC,- Matt Yeats (9 saves, 12 shots); Scott Stirling (3-3; 12:49 of the second period; 13 saves, 14 shots).

Attendance: 2,612.

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