Friday’s Kelly Cup Recap

Stingrays down Reading in double overtime
South Carolina leads series 1-0

By Andrew Miller
The Post and Courier

There was a small part of Frankie Simonelli that was a little disappointed he got sent down from the American Hockey League.

Scoring the game-winning goal in the second overtime period was a nice consolation prize for the rookie defenseman.

Simonelli scored 7:21 into the second overtime period to lead the Stingrays past the Reading Royals, 2-1, Friday night before a crowd of 2,253 at the North Charleston Coliseum.

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Everblades top Orlando in playoff opener
Florida leads series 1-0

By Carl Bleich
The News-Press

Forward Nicholas Deschamps scored two goals — including the go-ahead tally late in the second period—to lead the Florida Everblades to a 3-2 victory over Orlando in their ECHL playoff opener on Friday night at Germain Arena.

Deschamps deflected home a slap shot off the stick of Jordan Henry on the power play with 3:03 left in the second period to put Florida ahead for good in what proved to be a physical start to the postseason.

"We had four or five guys get stitches in their face," Everblades coach Greg Poss said. "That’s just normal when the playoffs start."

The victory gives Florida a 1-0 lead in the teams’ first-round playoff series. Game 2 of the best-of-7 series will be today at Germain Arena at 7 p.m.

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Komets double-up Kalamazoo 4-2
Fort Wayne leads series 1-0

By Blake Sebring
The News-Sentinel

Like a teenager who’s been grounded, the Kalamazoo Wings could not find a way to get out of receiving punishment.

The Fort Wayne Komets’ forecheck pounded the Kalamazoo defense against the boards hard and loud enough to make them shake Friday night in Game 1 of their ECHL North Division semifinal playoff series. The Komets kept the Wings trapped against the boards with their aggressive play. That started the bruises that will become the lumps the longer the series goes.

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Oilers get on board with 5-1 win
Allen leads series 2-1

By John Rittenoure
Tulsa World

After the Tulsa Oilers roared to a 3-0 lead Friday in their ECHL playoff game against the Allen Americans at the BOK Center, Wednesday’s game at Allen no doubt came to mind.

In that game, the Oilers bolted to a 4-0 lead only to lose 5-4 and fall two games down in the best-of-7 series.

This time there was no Allen comeback. After building a 4-1 lead Tom Mele skated in on a third-period breakaway to score at 5:58 and finish off the Oilers’ 5-1 victory before a crowd of 2,607.

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Mallards edge Rush 3-2
Quad City leads series 1-0

Staff Report
Quad City Times

The Quad-City Mallards broke the first serve of the Rapid City Rush.

After surrendering a goal 29 seconds into Game 1 of the ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs, the Mallards responded to win 3-2 over the Rapid City Rush, grabbing a 1-0 series lead and home-ice advantage in the process.

Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel’s power-play goal at the 6-minute, 23 second mark of the third period proved to be the game-winner. Dieude-Fauvel’s goal came just two seconds into the team’s first power-play opportunity of the night, burying a one-timer from Matt Duffy off a face-off assist from rookie Michael Clarke.

The Mallards have now won four straight games, the team’s first four-game winning streak of the year. Quad-City looks to keep the streak going against the Rush again tonight at 8:05 p.m. at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

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Grizzlies record win in return home
Series tied 1-1

By David Winkworth
Salt Lake Tribune

Ryan Hayes helped seal the deal for Utah with the game tied at 2 in the third period, as he found a way to steal the puck in the Idaho zone and dished it to T.J. Syner, who hammered home the game-winning goal for the Grizzlies as they evened up the series with the 3-2 win over the Steelheads.

"He slid the puck right over to Syner and was able to put it in the back of the net," said coach Tim Branham of Hayes. "Hayes is a team guy first and always produces in the playoffs."

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Reign down Eagles 4-1
Series tied 1-1

By George Alfano
Press Enterprise

The Ontario Reign did what it needed to do on Friday night and didn’t make the same mistakes as on Thursday night to square the series against the Colorado Eagles at one game apiece.

The Reign played a consistent offensive game, killed off penalties, and improved on special teams to defeat Colorado by a 4-1 margin.

The next three games of the best-of-seven series will be played in Colorado, and Ontario must win at least one of those games to return the series to Citizens Business Bank Arena. Game 3 is Sunday night in Fort Collins, and Game 4 will be Thursday.

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