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Aces capture Kelly Cup

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

CINCINNATI, OH -- Gerald Coleman earned his seventh career playoff shutout with 23 saves and the Alaska Aces won their ECHL record tying third Kelly Cup championship with a 4-0 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones before 3,238 fans at U.S. Bank Arena on Monday night.

Nick Mazzolini scored the game winning goal in the first period, followed by strikes from Drew MacKenzie, Alex Belzile and Turner Elson. The Aces third Kelly Cup title tied the South Carolina Stingrays for most in league history, while Coleman became the first goaltender to win two Kelly Cup titles as a player.

Assistant coach Louis Mass joined Scott Burt, Jared Bednar and Patrick Wellar as the only individuals to have their name on the Kelly Cup, three times.

The Aces pelted Rob Madore and the Cyclones in the opening period with a 21-6 shots advantage, and finally broke through with 22.8 left on Mazzolini's power play goal - a snap shot from the right circle after Coleman stopped Wade Megan on a shorthanded breakaway.

MacKenzie's power play goal with 2:51 left in the second period bolstered the lead to 2-0, converting a backdoor feed at the left circle. Coleman preserved the lead with a left pad save in the waning seconds on Logan Shaw, after Cincinnati controlled an end zone faceoff.

Belzile's wrister beat Rob Madore through the five hole with 4:51 to play in regulation and Elson followed up with an empty net goal with 3:51 remaining.

Madore made 41 saves and earned the Kelly Cup Playoff MVP award.

NOTES: The Aces scratched Zach Davies, Brad Richard, Andy Taranto, Ross Ring-Jarvi, Olivier Roy and James Martin ... Nick Mazzolini, earning his first Kelly Cup title, was the Aces leading playoff scorer with 31 points in 21 games (also leading the ECHL) ... Coleman moved into second place, all-time in playoff shutouts (7).

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