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Aces top Cyclones 4-2, take a 3-2 series lead
CINCINNATI, Ohio (WKRC) -- Brad Richard potted the game-winning goal as the Alaska Aces (15-5) edged past the Cyclones (14-9) by a 4-2 final score in front of 4,488 at U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday. With the Game 5 win, the Aces took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. Although six different Cyclones recorded a point in the loss, goaltender Gerald Coleman (W, 28 saves, 9-4) kept Cincinnati out of the back of net while his teammates Jordan Morrison and Turner Elson both turned in two-point performances.
Cincinnati claimed an early lead when Josh Birkholz converted his fourth of the postseason just 13 seconds into the contest. It wasnt long, however, before the Aces scored the equalizer, as a shot from Morrison was deflected between the legs of Rob Madore (L, 37 saves, 14-9) at 3:09. Both clubs exchanged power play opportunities in the frame the Cyclones with four and the Aces with one but the score remained deadlocked, despite the Cyclones outshooting the visitors 15-11 in the frame.
Although the Alaska offense surged to life to start the second stanza, it was the Cyclones who struck first. When Andrew Blazek blasted a shot from the blue line, Trevor Lewis backhanded the rebound past Coleman at 7:40. 29 seconds later, however, the Aces knotted the score at two when Sean Curry went top-shelf for his second of the postseason. Like the first frame, the period ended with both teams trading power play chances, but the score held, although the Cyclones were outshot 21-7 in the stanza.
Despite several quality scoring chances for the Cyclones, the Aces took their first and final lead of the night when Richard tipped in his first tally of the postseason at 14:05. The visitors sealed the victory when Elson buried a rebound, giving his team the 4-2 win.
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