CINCINNATI, Ohio – For the third straight game, the Reading Royals (10-5) forced overtime with some third period offense. But unlike the previous two, the Cincinnati Cyclones (9-6) prevailed as Mike Embach buried the game-winner at 16:24 of the extra session to give his team a 3-2 victory. The Cincinnati triumph cut Reading's best-of-seven series lead in half, at 2-1.
With just 1:38 expired in the opening period, the Cyclones took an early edge on forward Dan Eves' first goal of the playoffs. Mike Pelech sent a precision cross-ice pass from just inside the blue line to Chris Reed in the right circle; Reed fed the puck to the top of the crease where Eves knocked it past the backside of Royals goaltender Riley Gill (OTL, 28 saves, 7-3). Neither team was able to light the lamp the remainder of the first frame. Cincinnati carried the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
After a scoreless second period, the Cyclones were able to extend their advantage to 2-0 at 2:18 of the third. Embach threw the puck at the net from the right circle and Pelech was able to redirect it just by the left leg of Gill. It marked the first time in the series that either team held a two-goal advantage. Reading finally got on the scoreboard with 8:40 remaining in regulation while on the power play. Alex Berry intercepted a Cincinnati pass in the left circle and fired a wrist shot by the stick side of Michael Houser (W, 22 saves, 9-6) to pull his team to within one. Then, at 18:23, Nikita Kashirky picked up a loose puck at the side of the net and wrapped in the game-tying goal around Houser to knot things at two and send the game into the third extra session contest in as many meetings.
Early in the first bonus period, both teams had a chance to utilize a power play but neither could capitalize – so the game continued. Later in the frame, Gill misplayed a puck behind the net allowing Shalla to take a shot from the left circle; his offering kicked off of the goalie's pad and landed right on the stick of Mike Embach who buried his team-leading third game winning goal from the low slot at 16:24 to seal a 3-2 win for Cincinnati.