Cyclones Capture ECHL Crown
Jun 6, 2008
It is the first time in 35 years that a Cincinnati pro hockey team has competed in its league finals. The last team to compete for a championship was the 1973 Cincinnati Swords, which captured the AHL’s Calder Cup in five games over Nova Scotia. It was the first time since April 3, 1955—that a champion from the Queen City was crowned in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Mohawks won a seventh game against the Troy Bruins for the IHL’s Turner Cup championship.
Four members of the Cyclones suited up for the Admirals this season, including defenseman Bryan Schmidt, who led Cincy defensemen in scoring in the post-season with ten points. Ryan Maki, TJ McElroy, and Maxime Daigneault also played for Milwaukee this year.
In addition, Cincinnati Head Coach Chuck Weber was an assist coach for the Admirals during the 2002-03 season.
The Cyclones opened the scoring 15:58 into the game, when during a four-on-four situation, right wing Jean-Michel Daoust netted his sixth goal of the playoffs. Daoust took a drop pass in the slot from David Desharnais. Daoust shot went upstairs over the shoulder of Kevin Lalande. The shots on goal favored Las Vegas, 13-9, in the opening period.
Las Vegas leveled the scores at 1-1, as Adam Cracknell netted his ninth goal of the playoffs. Cracknell’s goal was assisted by Jason Krischuk and Chris Ferraro on the power play. Las Vegas had five man advantage opportunities in the frame—including two chances for 1:43 with a two-man edge. Cincinnati had one chance on the power play for 18 seconds in the period.
Cyclones goaltender Cedrick Desjardins’ streak of 132 minutes, 25 seconds of shutout time against Las Vegas came to an end with the Cracknell goal.
The Cyclones scored a pair of third period goals from Matt Syroczynski (eighth) and Jon Gleed (second) in closing out the scoring.
The Kelly Cup presented annually by the ECHL to its playoff champion. This is the 20th season of operation for the ECHL and the Cyclones first trip to the Finals series. Cincinnati swept Johnstown in four games, knocked off Reading in seven games and defeated South Carolina in five games to reach this series. Las Vegas dropped Stockton in six games, Alaska in five games and swept Utah to reach the Kelly Cup Finals. It is the first-ever Finals trip for the Wranglers as well.
The series marks the first time in ECHL history that two John Brophy Trophy winners (ECHL Coach of the Year) have faced one another for the championship. Weber won the award this season and Glen Gulutzan of Las Vegas captured the award in 2005-06.