PRINCETON, N.J. – For the second time this month there will be a Game 7 when the Florida Everblades host the Dayton Bombers in the decisive game of the American Conference Finals at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday at Germain Arena.
The Bombers played their first Game 7 on May 3, beating the Cincinnati Cyclones 5-3 at the Nutter Center to advance to meet Florida, which has not played a Game 7 in its nine-year history. The victory allowed Dayton to become only the third team in league history to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a series.
The home team is 9-2 all-time in Game 7s and the home team has won the last five Game 7s. The Trenton Titans are the last road team to win Game 7, beating the Alaska Aces 2-0 in the conference finals in 2005. The only other team to win Game 7 on the road is the Carolina Thunderbirds who beat the Johnstown Chiefs 7-4 in the first ECHL championship in 1989.
There was a record four Game 7s in the 2006 Kelly Cup Playoffs, the first time that there had been more than one Game 7 played in a year. One of the winners was Las Vegas which beat Idaho 6-2 in Game 7 of the division semifinals to become only the second team ever to overcome a 3-1 deficit, joining Mississippi which beat Richmond 4-3 in double overtime in Game 7 to win the Kelly Cup in 1999.
The winner will advance to the Kelly Cup Finals to meet Idaho which upset defending Kelly Cup Champion Alaska Aces to win the National Conference in five games. Florida reached the Kelly Cup Finals in 2004 and 2005 while Dayton advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals in 2002. The Steelheads are in the Kelly Cup Finals for the second time in four years. Idaho beat Florida in five games to win the championship in 2004 and become only the second expansion team in history to win the ECHL title, joining the Greensboro Monarchs who beat Winston-Salem in 1990.
If Dayton wins, Idaho would be the higher seed for the Kelly Cup Finals and the Steelheads would host Games 1 and 2 at Qwest Arena on May 23 and 25. Games 3 and 4 would be played at the Nutter Center in Ohio on May 27 and 29. The date for Game 5, if necessary, will be announced at a later date. If Florida wins, the Everblades would be the higher seed for the Kelly Cup Finals and they would host Idaho in Games 1 and 2 at Germain Arena on May 23 and 26. Games 3 and 4 would be played at Qwest Arena on May 30 and June 1 with Game 5, if necessary, scheduled for June 2.
Making its first postseason appearance since it reached the Kelly Cup Finals in 2002, Dayton beat Trenton in three games in the division semifinals and Cincinnati in seven games in the North Division Finals. The Bombers were 37-26-9 and finished first in the North Division with 83 points, a 37-point improvement over 2005-06.
Florida was 44-22-6 in the regular season and finished first in the American Conference and tied for third overall with 94 points. The Everblades have not missed the Kelly Cup Playoffs since joining the ECHL in 1998-99 and their nine consecutive appearances is the longest active streak. Florida beat Charlotte in three games in the division semifinals and then beat Texas in six games in the South Division Finals to reach the conference finals for the third time in the last four years.
Since becoming a national league in 2003-04, the ECHL has seen its Kelly Cup Champion come from Alaska with the Aces in 2006, New Jersey with the Trenton Titans in 2005 and Idaho with the Steelheads in 2004.
Broadcasting the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the fourth year in a row is B2 Networks, the “Official Broadband Broadcast Provider of the ECHL”. Fans can access the B2 Networks broadcast from the scores page on the ECHL web site.
ECHL Game 7s
May 18, 2007 Dayton at Florida Conference Finals
May 3, 2007 Cincinnati 3 at DAYTON 5 Division Finals
May 22, 2006 Fresno 2 at ALASKA 3 (2 OT) Conference Finals
May 6, 2006 Bakersfield 2 at FRESNO 4 Division Finals
Apr. 22, 2006 Long Beach 3 at BAKERSFIELD 4 Division Semifinals
Apr. 19, 2006 Idaho 2 at LAS VEGAS 6 Division Semifinals
May 16, 2005 TRENTON 2 at Alaska 0 Conference Finals
May 3, 2003 Cincinnati 2 at ATLANTIC CITY 3 Conference Finals
May 13, 2001 Peoria 3 at TRENTON 4 Conference Finals
May 30, 1999 Richmond 3 at MISSISSIPPI 4 (2 OT) Kelly Cup Finals
Mar. 31, 1992 Roanoke 2 at GREENSBORO 6 First Round
Apr. 12, 1989 CAROLINA 7 at Johnstown 4 Riley Cup Finals