Will Norris’s goal at 1:49 of the third overtime gave the Northern Cyclones a 4-3 win Sunday night at Tri-Town Arena and kept them alive in the best-of-five Eastern Hockey League championship series against the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs. Chris Zuccaro had the helper on the game-winner.
The regular-season champion Monarchs lead the series, two games to one, and have two chances to clinch the crown starting with Tuesday night’s Game Four at Cyclones Arena (6 p.m.). Game Five, if needed, would be Thursday night at Tri-Town (6 p.m.).
Goaltenders Evan Morelli of the Cyclones (74 saves) and Jake Theut of the Monarchs (64 saves) were primarily responsible for the duration of more than 100 minutes, sending back 138 of a combined 145 total shots. The teams were tied at 2-2 after the first period as the Monarchs opened a 2-0 lead behind goals from Lloyd Hayes and Kyle Lajeunesse before Riley Christensen countered with two for the Cyclones. Lajeunesse gave New Hampshire a 3-2 lead through two but Grant Gallo pulled the Cyclones even at 2:47 of the third. Nearly three full periods of scoreless play ensued until Norris ended it.
The Monarchs prevailed in Game One, 2-1, on goals by Peyton Baldillez and Eric Berglund after Weston Moon provided the Cyclones with a 1-0 lead at 11:44 of the second period. Theut had 37 saves for the Monarchs while Drew Weigman finished with 39 for the Cyclones.
The Monarchs then rallied to win Game Two, 4-2, on goals by Brent Beaudoin, Lajeunesse and Berglund (empty net) in a span of 2:42 in the game’s final four minutes. The Cyclones had the lead on goals by Tim Bayliss and Sean Brown. Hunter Laslo also scored for the Monarchs.