The Northern Cyclones will play the Charlotte Rush in the USPHL National Championship Game on Tuesday, March 28, at 1 p.m.
The Cyclones tied their game with 7.2 seconds left, forcing overtime against the Florida Eels. James Vermeersch sent the Cyclones into the title game with an overtime goal at 5:09.
The lead swung three times in what at least one USPHL commentator called “possibly the best game in USPHL Premier history.”
The first Florida Eels goal was scored at 10:34 of the first, when Collin Patterson unleashed a beast of a backhand, assisted by Mark Phillips.
The Northern Cyclones got the next two goals, with Garrett Conner starting off the third scoring at 2:48 (Connor Crawford and Seth Orozco assisted).
Then, it was the Cyclones once again, this time with Justin Tremblay pulling the Cyclones ahead for the first time in the game. Seth Orozco and Karl Fredriksson registered the assists.
The Florida Eels began to turn the tide just past the third period midway mark, with Liam Hennessy scoring at 10:10 (Easton Moore and Maverick Crupi on the assists). And then Maverick Crupi sent the Eels ahead at the 13:30 mark, unassisted.
The Northern Cyclones refused to give this one up. With 7.2 seconds, here was the game-tying goal from Billy Dougherty! Seth Orozco and James Vermeersch registered assists – since Vermeersch still had other plans in store.
Just 5:09 into the overtime proceedings, James Vermeersch was your OT hero, sending the Cyclones to their first USPHL Premier championship game (since the current league’s formation in 2017-18).