CYCLONES SEASON ENDS IN GAME 4 LOSS TO WALLEYE
Lincoln Griffin and James Hardie each scored for Cincinnati, but the Cyclones historic season came to a close Friday night at the hands of the Toledo Walleye, who took a 9-2 final to win round two of the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs, sweeping the Cyclones and advancing to the Western Conference Finals.
- With home ice advantage, Toledo jumped out to a quick start, securing a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. The scoring started 1:54 in when Andrew Sturtz parked in front of Mark Sinclair to redirect a goal line shot from Brett McKenzie. The puck found its way underneath Sinclair's blocker, as the rookie goaltender was hugging the post. Gordie Green tipped a deep slot shot from Charlie Curti less than four minutes later to double the lead, before Brandon Hawkins flicked a wrist shot through traffic that found it way to the goal 17:02 into the first, giving the Walleye a 3-0 advantage.
- Andrew Sturtz opened the second period with a shorthanded goal on Beck Warm, who came in relief of Mark Sinclair. The Walleye went on to convert on three power play goals in the second period, before tacking on an additional pair in the third period. Gordie Green led the way in scoring with two goals and two assists.
- Griffin got the 'Clones on the board 10:49 into the second period, corralling a rebound in the slot off a drive from Patrick Polino. The shot went overtop the glove of John Lethemon and was Griffin's first of the playoffs and first since returning from an upper-body injury that saw him miss 82 days of action.
- Hardie would go on to score his first professional goal 12:08 into the third, whipping a wrist shot from the left side that eluded Lethemon's glove, making it a 9-2 game and scoring the final goal of the Cyclones' 2022-23 season.
- Cincinnati became 2022-23 Central Division Champions, composing a 47-16-6-3 record, accumulating 103 standings points. The team reached several new franchise benchmarks, including a franchise best 10-game road winning streak, which came in the midst of a franchise best 21-game point streak, going 19-0-2 from February 10-March 26. The Cyclones will raise their Central Division Champions banner ahead of the team's home opener for the 2023-24 ECHL season.
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