Friday’s Kelly Cup Playoffs Recap

Nailers advance with 4-2 win
Wheeling wins series 4-0

By Shawn Rine
The Intelligencer

WHEELING – When push came to shove, and it did, the South Carolina Stingrays had no answer for the Wheeling Nailers’ second line on Saturday night, or in the entire series for that matter.

Max MacKay scored a pair of goals and assisted on another, Sahir Gill had a goal and assist and Christiaan Minella added a helper as the Nailers scored a 4-2 victory at WesBanco Arena to sweep the Stingrays out of the playoffs in their Best-of-7 Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Wheeling will play the winner of the Greenville-Kalamazoo series that is tied 2-2, beginning next weekend. If Greenville prevails, Games 1 and 2 will be next Saturday and Sunday at WesBanco Arena. If Kalamazoo survives, Games 1 and 2 are next Friday and Saturday on the road.

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K-Wings pull even with 4-1 victory
Series tied 2-2

Staff Report
Kalamazoo Gazette

GREENVILLE – The Kalamazoo Wings responded from their game three overtime loss with a decisive 4-1 victory Friday night at the Bon Secours Arena. The win evened the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series at two games apiece.

Coming out flying in the opening period, the K-Wings became the first team in this series to light the lamp in the first period. Precision passing from Nick Sirota and Chris Lawrence led to a goal from Matt Caria (2nd) 11:26 into the stanza. The goal marked the first time this postseason that the K-Wings earned the first goal of the game.

Caria, who was the K-Wings leading scorer in the regular season, struck again five minutes later for his second goal of the night. Created by a stretch pass from Joe Sova, Caria (3rd) snuck behind the Road Warriors defense and scored on a breakaway.

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Fort Wayne seizes control, defeats Reading 3-1
Komets lead series 3-1

By Justin Cohn
The Journal-Gazette

FORT WAYNE – As Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals progressed, the Komets’ play improved. By the end, they had a masterful 3-1 victory over the defending champion Reading Royals in front of 5,161 fans at Memorial Coliseum and are now one game away from advancing to the semifinals.

“As long as we continue to get better every game, we know we’re going to be successful,” said Komets captain Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock, who had his first goal of the playoffs. “It doesn’t matter if we’re up 3-1 in the series, as we are, there’s always a goal. If there’s no goal in sight, you’re going to stay stagnant. We can still make adjustments and get better.”

The Komets can close out the series Sunday at the Coliseum. If they don’t, it’s back to Reading, Pa., for Game 6 on Tuesday.

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Solar Bears stay alive with 2-0 win at Cincinnati
Cyclones lead series 3-1

Staff Report
Orlando Sentinel

Facing elimination from the ECHL playoffs Friday night, the Orlando Solar Bears needed a lucky bounce.

When it finally came, Scott Tanski was in perfect position to take advantage.

Tanski scored off a deflection early in the third period to break a scoreless tie and propel the Solar Bears past the host Cincinnati Cyclones 2-0 in Game 4 of their first-round Eastern Conference series.

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Alaska advances with 3-2 win
Aces win series 4-0

By Doyle Woody
Anchorage Daily News

For most of their opening-round ECHL Kelly Cup playoff series, the Alaska Aces lowered the boom on the Las Vegas Wranglers.

Friday night, they employed the broom.

Peter Sivak scored two goals, including the game-winning, power-play strike in the final minute of the second period, to spearhead a 3-2 road victory that earned the Aces a sweep of the best-of-7, Western Conference quarterfinal series.

The Aces, two-time winners of the Kelly Cup (2011, 2006) and owners of the highest playoff winning percentage in league history (.656), won their opening series for the 10th time in 11 seasons on the minor-league hockey circuit.

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Bakersfield moves on to second round with 5-0 win
Condors win series 4-1

By Mike Griffith
Bakersfield Californian

Bring on the Thunder.

The Bakersfield Condors are headed to the second of of the playoffs for the first time in four years, thanks in part to a power play that came to life in the second period on Friday night before 5,040 at Rabobank Arena.

The Condors scored three second-period goals, two on the power play, and went on to a 5-0 victory over the Utah Grizzlies to win the series 4 games to 1.

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Steelheads head home with series lead
Idaho leads series 3-2

Staff Report
Idaho Statesman

LOVELAND, Colo. — Gaelan Patterson scored off a rebound early in the third period, and Josh Robinson turned aside 16-of-17 shots in the period as Idaho beat the Colorado Eagles 2-1 in Game 5 of their best-of-seven ECHL Western Conference playoff series Friday night.

Idaho has won two straight games on the road, and needs to win either Monday or Tuesday at CenturyLink Arena to advance to the West semifinals.

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