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Aces Capture 2014 Kelly Cup with 4-0 in Game 6
CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- A pair of power play goals made the difference as the Alaska Aces (16-5) defeated the Cyclones (14-10) by a 4-0 final score in front of 3,238 at U.S. Bank Arena on Monday.
With the Game 6 victory, the Aces earned their third Kelly Cup in franchise history and their second ECHL championship in four seasons. Goaltender Rob Madore (L, 41 saves, 14-10), who made 41 saves in the loss, was named Most Valuable Player of the 2014 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Alaska captain Nick Mazzolini recorded two points in the win while net minder Gerald Coleman (W, 23 saves, 10-4) earned his second shutout of the postseason by turning aside all 23 of the shots he faced in the contest.
The tilt kicked off with tense, careful play from both teams. However, as the frame wore on, the Alaska offense surged to life, putting extended pressure on goaltender Rob Madore (L, 41 saves, 14-10).
The Cyclones successfully killed a penalty before receiving a power play opportunity of their own. The man-advantage was quickly offset by another penalty, resulting in 1:22 of four-on-four hockey. Both teams were kept off the scoreboard until a delay-of-game penalty was called against Cincinnati and Mazzolini, Alaska's scoring leader, converted his 11th of the playoffs with 23 seconds remaining in the frame. The home team entered the first intermission being outshot 21-6, but only trailing by one.
The visitors carried momentum into the second stanza until Kane Lafranchise was called for hooking. The Cyclones had several quality scoring chances on the man-advantage, but did not find the back of the net. Alaska regained momentum with a burst of offense late in the frame and took a 2-0 lead on the power play when Drew MacKenzie one-timed his fifth of the postseason past Madore at 17:09. The Cyclones, who were outshot 34-17 through 40 minutes, entered the final period with a two-goal deficit.
Alaska added another two tallies in the final frame when Alex Belzile converted his third of the postseason at 15:09 and Turner Elson capped the night with an empty-netter at 16:59. Madore's Kelly Cup Playoff MVP award was the fourth in team history and third won by a goaltender. In 2008, David Desharnais took the prize and in 2010, the goalie duo of Jeremy Smith and Robert Mayer shared the award.
"It's always nice to be recognized, but...it's a testament to how well the guys played in front of me for the last two months," said Rob Madore, who was also named third star of the game. "They have been awesome. Everyone down to a man has done their job above and beyond and that includes the guys that didn't even see a lot of game action."
"Obviously it's fun to make a long run like this, but you hope you're going to come out with the trophy at the end," he added. "But I thought these guys gave it their all and we really don't have anything to be ashamed of."