NHL.com (Brian Compton):
Cincinnati Cyclones coach Chuck Weber said earlier this season that if forward David Desharnais was just a few inches taller, he’d be playing the National Hockey League.
The rookie may have taken another step toward the sport’s grandest stage on Thursday night. The 5-foot-6 Montreal Canadiens prospect scored a goal and added three assists to lead Cincinnati to a 4-2 win against the Las Vegas Wranglers at Orleans Arena in Game 3 of the Kelly Cup Finals. With the win, the Cyclones grabbed a 2-1 series lead.
After piling up 106 points (29 goals, 77 assists) during the regular season, Desharnais has showed no signs of slowing down during the Kelly Cup Playoffs. In 19 postseason games, Desharnais — the league’s MVP — has nine goals and 19 assists.
Cedrick Desjardins made 26 saves for the Cyclones and improved to 5-0 on the road this postseason. The teams split the first two games of the series at U.S. Bank Arena
.Cincinnati rallied for the victory in Game 3 after the Wranglers jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals from Brandon Kaleniecki and Tyler Mosienko. Jean-Michael Daoust, Matt Syroczynski and Olivier Latendresse scored for the Cyclones before the end of the second period, and Desharnais iced the victory with an empty-net tally. Desjardins stopped all 15 shots he faced in the third period.
The teams will meet again in Game 4 on Friday night at 7:05 Pacific time.
“They are a stingy team, a lot like us,” Wranglers coach Glen Gulutzan told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “But when you have a 2-0 lead, you have to keep grinding the game down, because if you don’t give anything away, you make them change their game somewhat. We didn’t do that.
“This marks the first time in 35 years that a Cincinnati pro hockey team has competed in its league finals. The last team to play for a championship was the 1973 Cincinnati Swords, who captured the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup in five games against Nova Scotia.