The Carolina Hurricanes’ top minor league affiliate, the Cincinnati Cyclones, have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2000 International Hockey League Playoffs. The Cyclones will face the Grand Rapids Griffins in a best-of-seven series beginning on Friday, May 12 to determine which team will represent the conference in the 2000 Turner Cup Finals.
Cincinnati, who finished the regular season with the third-best record in the Eastern Conference, earned a first-round bye before knocking off the number-two seeded Orlando Solar Bears in six games of the conference semifinals.
Shane Willis, a fourth-round pick of the Hurricanes in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, posted a team-high four goals during the six-game series and finished second on the team with six points (4g, 2a). Forwards Craig MacDonald, Ian MacNeil and Byron Ritchie each contributed four points.
David Tanabe, who registered four goals in 31 games during his rookie season with Carolina this year, led all Cyclones’ defensemen with three points (0g, 3a). Nikos Tselios, the Hurricanes’ top pick in 1997, added two assists against the Solar Bears.
Randy Petruk and Jean-Marc Pelletier handled the goaltending duties for the Cyclones, each recording one shutout in the series. Petruk, who was acquired by the Hurricanes from the Colorado Avalanche on June 1, 1998, registered a 3-2 mark with a 1.15 goals against average in five games. Pelletier, who was traded along with Rod Brind’Amour to the Hurricanes on January 23, recorded a 1-0 record and a 2.40 goals against average in two games.