The Allen Americans are set to face the South Carolina Stingrays in the ECHL’s Kelly Cup starting on Sunday, May 31st. They will host the first three games of the series.
The Americans had to take down the Ontario Reign in order to advance to the finals. It took seven games to do so, making both conference finals come down to the final game for the first time in the history of the league.
It was a 3-1 victory on Wednesday night that brought the Americans to their final. The Americans had trailed the series three games to one before they stormed back to win three straight games.
They are also the first expansion team in the history of the young league to go to the Kelly Cup since the Idaho Steelheads did it in 2004. This is the first time the Americans have advanced this far in the playoffs.
In their game seven victory over the Reign, the first goal scored was from Tyler Ludwig to open the game 1-0 in the favor of the Americans. The team traded goals in the second period to give the Americans a 2-1 lead going into the third. An empty netter would seal the game for the Americans. Their game winning goal came in the second period from Gary Steffes.
It has not been an easy path for the Americans to get to where they are now. Not only did they have to claw their way back after trailing in this series, they had to take out the Rapid City Rush in the previous round to get to the western conference finals. It took six games to take down the Rush.
In their first series, Allen handled the Tulsa Oilers in five games.
The Americans dominated their conference all season long, finishing with the most points in the west with 106. It was the second most points in the league, behind the 107 from the Toledo Walleye in the east, who were just knocked off by the lower seed South Carolina. They will be the opponents for the Americans coming up, so they can’t sleep on the fact they are the higher seed,
Allen didn’t even have to battle for the top record in their division much, finishing with 205 points more than the next highest seed, the 81 point getting Rapid City Rush and the Quad City Mallards. The next most points in conference overall came from the 102 point Idaho Steelheads.
The Americans have their work cut out for them with the Stingrays. It should be a terrific series.
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