PRINCETON, N.J. – For the first time in the 21-year history of the ECHL there will be two Game 7s played on the same day when Ontario hosts Stockton at 7 p.m. PT in the Pacific Division Semifinals and Las Vegas hosts Bakersfield at 7:30 p.m. PT in the Pacific Division Semifinals on Wednesday.
There have already been four Game 7s in 2009 which is the most in a single round and ties the record for most in a year set in 2006. The two games on Wednesday raise the total number of Game 7s to 17 with the home team winning 11 times (73.3 percent). There have been 11 Game 7s in the last four years after having only six in the previous 17 seasons. The 2006 Kelly Cup Playoffs were the first time that more than one Game 7 was played in a single postseason.
Bakersfield is playing its third Game 7 which ties it with Trenton for the second most in league history. The Condors are playing Game 7 on Apr. 22 for the second time having beat Long Beach 4-3 at Bakersfield on Apr. 22, 2006. The Condors in 2006 became the first team to play two Game 7s in a single postseason, beating Long Beach in the division semifinals before losing in the division finals to Fresno. The Falcons then became the second team to play two Game 7s when they lost in double overtime in the conference finals on the road to eventual champion Alaska.
Las Vegas is playing in its second Game 7 which ties it for the fourth most in ECHL history with Alaska, Dayton and Fresno. Las Vegas is 1-0 in Game 7 having beat Idaho 6-2 at home in the division semifinals in 2006.
Stockton’s Matt Thomas was head coach of Fresno in 2006 and is 1-1 in Game 7 while Ontario’s Karl Taylor was head coach of Reading from 2005-08 and is 0-1 in Game 7.
Elmira beat Trenton 5-3 on Tuesday to become only the fourth road team to win Game 7. Dayton won 4-3 in overtime at Florida to reach the Kelly Cup Finals in 2007. Trenton won 2-0 at Alaska in the conference finals en route to the Kelly Cup championship in 2005 and the Carolina Thunderbirds won 7-4 at Johnstown to capture the first ECHL championship in 1989.
Cincinnati defeated Wheeling 2-1 in double overtime on Monday. The Cyclones have played a league record four Game 7s and are 2-2. Cincinnati beat Reading 6-1 in the North Division Finals in 2008 while losing to Dayton in the North Division Finals in 2006 and to Atlantic City in the conference finals in 2003.
Dayton in 2007 became the first team in ECHL history to win two Game 7s in a single postseason, beating Cincinnati at home in the North Division Finals and Florida on the road in the American Conference Finals. The Bombers became only the third team to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a playoff series when they beat Cincinnati.
ECHL Game 7s
Apr. 22, 2009 Stockton at Ontario Division Semifinals
Apr. 22, 2009 Bakersfield at Las Vegas Division Semifinals
Apr. 21, 2009 ELMIRA 5 at Trenton 3 Division Semifinals
Apr. 20, 2009 Wheeling 1 at CINCINNATI 2 (2 OT) Division Semifinals
May 5, 2008 Reading 1 at CINCINNATI 6 Division Finals
May 18, 2007 DAYTON 4 at Florida 3 (OT) 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