The Northern Cyclones ended up as the No. 8 of eight seeds in the 2019 NCDC Playoffs. Now, they are one win away from the semifinals.
The Cyclones traveled to Wayne, N.J., to take on a Hitmen team that defeated the Cyclones in all four of their meetings during the regular season.
Just 50 seconds into the overtime on Friday night, Lukas Uhler (‘99/Upland, Calif.) swatted at a loose puck in the crease to give the Cyclones the 1-0 series lead. It was Uhler’s second goal of the game.
After a scoreless first period, the Hitmen got on the board in the second period to start the game’s scoring. Originally posted as a Jericho Petkovich goal, it was eventually awarded to Casey Rhodes (‘99/Huntington, Beach, Calif.)
Owen Bourdow (‘99/Saginaw, Mich.) put in a one-timer pass from behind the net from Niklas Bretschneider (‘99/Wien, Austria) to even the score at 1-1 at the 2:51 mark of the third period.
The Hitmen’s Mickey Burns (‘00/Wayne, N.J.) came around the back of the Cyclones net, got just over the goal line and threw a shot in from a sharp angle for the Hitmen’s second lead of the game, 2-1.
Uhler scored his first of his two straight goals by hitting in a rebound after some nice tic-tac-toe passing at the 16:51 mark of the third, the goal that stood up to force OT.
Islanders Hockey Club 2, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs 1 (OT)
Ethan DeStefani (‘99/Bedford, N.H.) sent home the overtime game-winner at the 9:05 mark of the overtime period. That goal followed a second-period goal by Hunter McCoy (‘00/Newburyport, Mass.)
The Monarchs got the scoring started in the game, when Kevin Paganini (‘99/Harrison, N.Y.) rang it up at the 7:10 mark of the second period.
Connecticut Jr. Rangers 4, Syracuse Stars 0
Colten Lancaster (‘98/Charlie Lake, B.C.) stopped 26 shots for his first NCDC shutout, while two goals were scored by each of Philip Ekberg (‘99/Goteborg, Sweden) and Colin Slyne (‘98/Greenwich, Conn.) for the total of four.