Chatham-Kent Cyclones lifted to OT Win on Aitken's Heroics
Chatham, ON – Blenheim’s Cam Aitken lifted his Chatham-Kent Cyclones team to a dramatic 5-4 overtime win in their opening round playoff series against the Sun County Panthers.
Chatham-Kent fell behind four times in the game, and each time, they answered back to tie the game. Troy Babcock of Wallaceburg started the scoring in the first period on the powerplay unassisted. After falling behind, the Cyclones pushed on tying the game 2-2 on a goal from Alex Kirschner of Wardsville, assisted by Blayne Oliver and Dylan Ryan.
In the second period, two call ups from the Major Bantam Cyclones connected for a momentum shifting play. Kellen Kaniecki flew in laying a hard check on a Sun County defender knocking the puck loose. Following the hit, fellow Major Bantam forward Steven Beenackers (Ridgetown) swooped in and burried the puck while in mid-air after being tripped down.
In the third, the action was back and forth with Cyclones goaltender Justin Pratt stopping several point blank attempts from the Panthers’ forwards. After allowing yet another go ahead goal, it was time for the Cyclones to take over. Cam Aitken of Blenheim tied the score for the Cyclones with less than five minutes left in the third period on a feed from Blake Rutckyj.
As overtime started, the teams traded chances. At one point, the Sun County Panthers slid in unprotected and pre-maturely celebrated their win. Pratt however, closed the door freezing the puck beneath his pads.
Then, with only 12 seconds remaining in overtime, the Cyclones shocked the Chatham crowd. After a shot and rebound, Cam Aitken slipped in and netted his second goal of the game to tie the playoff series 1-1 with a dramatic overtime winner.
During their regular season series, the two teams split with each team taking a win and tying the other game. Chatham-Kent now travels back to Essex to face the Sun County Panthers Wednesday at 8:00pm.