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Cyclones take opening game of Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
ORLANDO, Fla. (WKRC) -- Four different Cincinnati players had multi-point efforts as the Cyclones (1-0 playoffs) knocked off the Orlando Solar Bears (0-1 playoffs) by a 4-2 final score in front of 4,609 at Amway Center on Thursday night. The victory gave the Cyclones a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Cincinnati potted the first goal of the postseason at 5:33 when Wade Megan buried a rebound past Maxime Clermont (L, 22 saves, 0-1 playoffs) after a collision at the net. Unfortunately, the Solar Bears struck right back with a pair of lamplighters to briefly take the lead. At the 7:00 mark, Taylor Matson found himself unguarded and slammed in the equalizer at the side of the net. Then, at 14:03, Wade MacLeod capitalized on a quick rebound in front of the cage to make it a 2-1 contest. Megan struck again for the Cyclones, on the power play at 16:43 with a nifty backhand stash to even the score through 20 minutes of play at two.
Despite being heavily outshot in the middle stanza, the Cyclones scored the frame's only goal. At 16:11, Brett Wysopal caught a saucer pass from Trevor Lewis and wrested home his first ECHL postseason goal to give Cincinnati a 3-2 edge at the end of the second period. At the other end of the ice, Rob Madore (W, 34 saves, 1-0 playoffs) was masterful - making 18 second period saves to preserve the lead for his team.
In another evenly played period, the Cyclones clung to their 3-2 edge. At 16:07, Trevor Lewis made a nice move in the slot, forced a rebound and buried his first goal of the postseason to extend the Cyclones' cushion to 4-2. In the final minutes, the Solar Bears pulled Clermont in an attempt to tie it, however, Cincinnati wouldn't surrender another lamplighter and held on to take Game 1 by a 4-2 final score.
The same two teams will battle in Game 2 of the series on Sunday night at Amway Center - with the puck drop set for 7:00pm. Fans can hear the action on the Cyclones Radio Network beginning at 6:30pm.
Image and information provided by the Cincinnati Cyclones