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Wednesday's Kelly Cup Playoffs Recap

Power play carries Royals to 4-2 win
Reading leads series 2-0

By Jason Guarente
Reading Eagle

The unusual format of the ECHL playoffs offered a great opportunity to the Reading Royals.

Despite being the eighth seed, they were handed the first two games at home.

If they could hold serve at the Sovereign Center, they could push all the pressure on top-seeded Elmira. Reading held serve Wednesday night.

The Royals' rejuvenated power play struck early and they grabbed a 4-2 victory in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Reading has taken the first two games in the best-of-5 series. The rest will be played at Elmira's First Arena, starting with Game 3 Friday night.

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Haddad scores twice to lift Gladiators to win
Series tied 1-1

By Andrew Miller
Special to The Gwinnett Daily Post

It doesn't seem to matter what jersey Joey Haddad wears, he's a South Carolina Stingrays killer.

Haddad scored two goals, including the game winner with less than two minutes left in regulation, to lift Gwinnett past South Carolina 3-2 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Kelly Cup quarterfinals Wednesday night before a crowd of 1,344 at the North Charleston Coliseum.

The best-of-five series is tied at 1-1 and shifts to Gwinnett for the remaining three games in the series if necessary. Game 3 is set for Friday night beginning at 7 p.m., and Game 4 will be held Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. A decisive Game 5 would be played Monday night.

A year ago playing for Wheeling, Haddad scored two goals and added three assists in four games as the Nailers knocked the Stingrays out of the opening round of the Kelly Cup playoffs. After a scoreless night in Game 1, Haddad got two goals in the third period against the Stingrays.

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Pair of power-play goals carry K-Wings to win
Series tied 1-1

By Pam Shebest
Kalamazoo Gazette

The Kalamazoo Wings’ trip home from West Virginia got a little shorter after their 4-2 win against the Wheeling Nailers Wednesday night.

The victory evens the ECHL’s best-of-five first-round series at a game apiece after Kalamazoo (1-1-0) dropped the first game by the same score on Tuesday.

“At the beginning (of the series), we were hoping to win two,” K-Wings coach Nick Bootland said. “After we lost the first one, we changed our focus to getting a split.

“We made a couple tweaks, but didn’t change a lot. We were thinking too much in the first five periods and, in the sixth, we just started to play hockey.”

Game 3 is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Game 4 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, both at Wings Stadium. Game 5, if needed, will be Monday night. To celebrate the postseason, hot dogs at Wings Stadium during the first round will cost 25 cents each.


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Offense carries the day again for Everblades
Florida leads series 2-0

By Craig Handel
The News-Press

Not even Peter Karmanos can slow down the Florida Everblades.

Karmanos, who owns the Everblades with president Craig Brush, had been leery about coming to the team’s games over the years because they’d lose when he’d attend.

But Karmanos was in Germain Arena this week when Florida beat Greenville twice, including 4-2 on Wednesday before 2,893 in Kelly Cup Playoff action.

The Everblades will aim to close the series when they’ll travel to Greenville for a game Friday.

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Stockton rallies for 3-2 overtime win
Thunder lead series 2-0

By Scott Linesburgh
The Stockton Record

Before each overtime, Matt Thomas has a ritual of circling the number of the player on his game card whom he thinks will be his "horse," the go-to guy who will win the game for him.

After the Thunder erased a two-goal deficit Wednesday and got ready for the extra period, he circled No. 10 - Chris D'Alvise.

It worked out so well that he should play the number in the next lottery.

After allowing two goals in the first 1 minute, 50 seconds of the game, Stockton received two goals from Max Campbell to tie it, and D'Alvise finished the comeback 17 seconds into overtime as the Thunder stunned the Colorado Eagles 3-2 in the second game of the ECHL National Conference playoffs at Stockton Arena.

Stockton has a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five first-round series, and three chances to clinch at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo. The first chance is at 6:05 p.m. Friday.

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Reign prevail in overtime
Series tied 1-1

By Chris Langrill
Idaho Statesman

Crazy things can happen in playoff hockey.

And crazy things did happen during Game 2 of the opening-round ECHL Western Conference series between the Idaho Steelheads and the Ontario Reign on Wednesday night at CenturyLink Arena.

When all was settled, however, Ontario defeated Idaho 4-3 in overtime.

Former Steelheads forward Geoff Irwin scored the game-winner for the Reign a little more than 9 minutes into the extra period.

The best-of-five series is tied at 1-1 and now shifts to Ontario, where the Reign compiled a 24-9-3 record during their best regular season in franchise history. Game 3 is Friday.

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