ANCHORAGE, AK -- Jordan Morrison broke a scoreless tie with 4:08 left in regulation for the eventual game winner, setting up Gerald Coleman’s 30 save shutout and a 2-0 victory for the Alaska Aces over the Cincinnati Cyclones in Game 3 of the Kelly Cup Finals, before a frenzied crowd of 5,773 at Sullivan Arena on Monday.
Coleman outdueled Rob Madore to improve to 6-2 lifetime in the Cup Finals, preserving a 2-1 series lead with the two teams headed to Cincinnati. The Aces went 0-of-5 on the penalty kill while Brendan Connolly chipped in with two assists.
Coleman and Cincinnati counterpart Rob Madore traded seven saves in the opening period, offering an array of quality scoring chances and a tightly called game where both teams combined for five power plays.
The Aces best chance came on a Nick Mazzolini one-timer from the slot with five minutes left that barely missed the net on Madore’s glove side.
The pace shifted into high gear for the second period and Coleman and Madore traded highlight reel saves, with the two best Aces chances coming early in the period on stopped breakaways for Peter Sivak (five-hole) and Brendan Connolly (high to the blocker side). Coleman made a key save on a Logan Shaw snapper late in the period.
The third period was barely anything short of dramatic as compared to the second period, with Coleman and Madore continuing to battle. But then, the Aces finally broke through.
Jordan Morrison punched a rebound past Madore with 4:08 left in regulation for a 1-0 lead from Brendan Connolly’s persistence and set-up behind the net, sending Sullivan Arena into pandemonium. Then with 1:46 remaining, Connolly whipped a cross-ice pass to Mosienko, flying off the bench.
Mosienko teed up a 30-foot slapper past Madore’s glove for a 2-0 lead, securing the veteran’s long awaited first goal of the postseason.
Coleman and the Aces closed out Cincinnati on one last penalty kill to end the game.
Madore took the loss with 32 saves.
NOTES: The Aces scratched Zach Davies, Drew MacKenzie, Andy Taranto, Alex Belzile, Olivier Roy and James Martin ... the Aces outshot Cincinnati, 34-30 … Richard earned an assist in his playoff debut and appeared in his first game since Apr. 12, the regular season’s finale, at Colorado … the Aces improved to 8-3 at home, lifetime in the Kelly Cup Finals.
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 - Alaska at Cincinnati (U.S. Bank Arena) - Fri. 6/6,
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, *