CINCINNATI, OH -- Tommy Mele earned the only Alaska Aces goal in the second period and Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Rob Madore made 31 saves, enough support for two power play goals to help Cincinnati slip by the Aces, 3-1 in Game 4 of the Kelly Cup Finals before 4,501 fans at U.S. Bank Arena on Friday.
The Aces, limiting Cincinnati to 16 shots, held a 32-16 shots advantage while Gerald Coleman made 13 saves for Alaska.
The Aces pelted Madore with five of the game’s first six shots, but the first one that got past Coleman was a Josh Shalla one-timer from the left circle at 7:48, a power play goal to lift Cincinnati to a 1-0 advantage.
Madore came nearly out to the hash marks to challenge and deny John Ramage’s open bid in the slot, in the second period, and the Cyclones countered with the rush and Jonathan Hazen’s eighth goal of the playoffs at 6:35 of the second period for a 2-0 lead.
Just 3:37 later, Mele’s fourth goal of the postseason put the Aces back in the game, trailing 2-1 when he raced to the net and deflected Brendan Connolly’s saucer pass around Madore’s glove.
The Aces built off momentum and outshot Cincinnati, 12-8 in the period which included a shot by Tyler Mosienko that caught the post and a chance late in the period that Madore turned away on Nick Mazzolini.
Early in the third period, Mazzolini and Zach McKelvie (following up on a rebound, open at the left circle) were stopped on open looks at the net, with the Aces continuously threatening to extinguish Cincinnati’s lead.
Just several seconds after he was pulled down in the offensive zone, Brendan Connolly’s hooking penalty with 4:44 left in regulation proved costly which set up Logan Shaw’s insurance marker 16:44, a set up by Barry Almeida at the right circle.
The Aces fell to 1-2 lifetime in Game 4 of the Cup Finals.
NOTES: The Aces scratched Zach Davies, Drew MacKenzie, Andy Taranto, Alex Belzile, Olivier Roy and James Martin ... the loss dropped the Aces road playoff record to 7-2 … Cincinnati converted at 2-of-3 on the power play … Evan Trupp, returning to Cincinnati for the first time since he was dealt to Bakersfield by the Cyclones in the 2011-12 season, led the Aces with four shots on goal.
KELLY CUP FINALS - ALASKA VS. CINCINNATI
GAME 1 – Alaska takes a 1-0 series lead with a 5-3 win
GAME 2 - Cincinnati ties the series up at 1-1 with a 2-1 win
GAME 3 - Alaska takes a 2-1 series lead with a 2-0 win
GAME 4 - Cincinnati ties the series with a 3-1 win
GAME 5 - Alaska at Cincinnati (U.S. Bank Arena) - Sat. 6/7, *
GAME 6 - Alaska at Cincinnati (U.S. Bank Arena) - Mon. 6/9, *
GAME 7 - Cincinnati at Alaska (Sullivan Arena) - Wed. 6/11, *