By Marc Hardin
Cincinnati Enquirer Contributor
CINCINNATI – The Reading Royals are gone, fading in the Cyclones’ rear-view mirror as an obstacle overcome Monday night in Game 7 of the ECHL Kelly Cup North Division finals.
But the royal pain Reading caused Cincinnati, the second-winningest team in ECHL history, will carry residual effects into Friday’s opener of the best-of-seven American Conference championship at U.S. Bank Arena.
“Reading ahead 3-2 in the series was a slap in the face that caused us to wake up and see what we can do,” said Maxime Daigneault, who represents one half of the Cyclones’ starting goalkeeping tandem.
Cincinnati, with 63 hockey wins between the regular season (55-12-5) and playoffs, faces off against the South Carolina Stingrays, 47-22-3 during the regular season, at 7:30 p.m. It’s the first meeting between the two teams this season.
The series winner will face the champion of the National Conference, either Las Vegas or Utah, for the Kelly Cup.