Saturday’s Kelly Cup Playoffs Recap

Royals prevail 4-2
Series tied 1-1

By Blake Sebring

READING, Pa. — About the only way Game 2 of the ECHL’s Eastern Conference quarterfinals could have been more hard-fought would have been with actual brass knuckles.

The Reading Royals threw several haymakers at the Fort Wayne Komets and still needed a lucky bounce or two to finally win 4-2 to even the series at a game apiece. This was essentially a 2-1 game with a pair of empty-net insurance goals for the Royals.

Games 3, 4 and 5 will be played in Fort Wayne starting Thursday.

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K-Wings hold on for 3-2 win
Series tied 1-1

Staff Report
Kalamazoo Gazette

KALAMAZOO – Responding from a game one loss, the Kalamazoo Wings answered back in game two, evening the best-of-seven series against the Greenville Road Warriors with a 3-2 victory Saturday night at Wings Stadium.

Similar to game one, neither team was able to light the lamp in the opening 20 minutes. Keeping with the script of the night before, Andrew Rowe (1st) played a pivotal role in the contest’s first goal, early in the second period. After winning a face-off in the K-Wings defensive zone, Rowe crashed the net and forced in a Marc-Olivier Vallerand rebound 37 seconds into the period.

On a great individual effort, Dustin Cloutier (1st) evened the game at 1-1 midway in the stanza. Capitalizing on a power-play, Cloutier skated the puck from the left point, along the blue line and towards the right circle, where he recorded the equalizer on a backhander.

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Nailers down Stingrays 3-2 in overtime
Wheeling leads series 2-0

Staff Report
The Intelligencer

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Call it the goal that almost never happened.

Tom Kuhnhackl took a pass from Jake Areshenko, walked into the left circle and wristed his first career postseason goal into the top-right corner of South Carolina goaltender Pheonix Copley net at 9:53 of overtime Saturday night, giving Wheeling a 3-2 victory and a 2-0 lead in the team’s Best-of-7 Eastern Conference quarterfinal at the North Charleston Coliseum.

Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) will be played Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night’s at WesBanco Arena – all at 7 p.m.

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Aces hold serve with 3-1 win
Alaska leads series 2-0

By Doyle Woody
Anchorage Daily News

When defenseman John Ramage was demoted to the ECHL’s Alaska Aces a month ago after spending the season to that point with the American Hockey League’s Abbotsford Heat, the rookie understandably was less than thrilled.

Ramage joined his new club on the road in Las Vegas, and he quickly altered his outlook.

“Any time you get sent down, it’s an eye-opener,’’ Ramage said. “Everyone’s goal playing hockey is to play in the National Hockey League. After my first (Aces) practice — I think we had a game that night — I realized how good a team we have down here.

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Stockton in charge of series
Thunder lead series 2-0

By Scott Linesburgh

Record Staff Writer

STOCKTON – It was an intense, hectic game at Stockton Arena, and ultimately a successful one for the Thunder.

Stockton did a little bit of everything, as it took a two-game lead in the first round of the ECHL Western Conference playoffs against the Ontario Reign. Jeremy Langlois had scored three goals in the second period, goalie Brian Foster fought off a furious assault from Ontario and rugged defenseman Ryan Constant delivered one of the hardest hits seen at the arena when he knocked a Reign player all the way into his own bench.

The Thunder’s 5-3 victory in front of a crowd of 3,304 provides a nice cushion as the series moves to Ontario’s Citizens Business Bank Arena for the next two contests on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Grizzles edge Condors 2-1
Series tied 1-1

By Steve Luhm
Salt Lake Tribune

West Valley City • The celebratory music blaring from the Utah locker room told the story Saturday night.

Michael Pelech scored the tie-breaking goal with 10:33 remaining, lifting the Grizzlies to a thrilling 2-1 victory over Bakersfield in Game 2 of their ECHL playoff series at the Maverik Center.

Pelech’s rebound goal gave Utah its first lead in two games and the Grizzlies held on to even the best-of-seven series, 1-1.

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Colorado downs Idaho 3-1
Series tied 1-1

By Cris Tiller
Reporter-Herald Sports Writer

BOISE, Idaho — Coming back home trailing two games to none wasn’t an option.

The Colorado Eagles knew they were playing well, but kept letting opportunities slip away and make things harder than they needed to be. But sticking with it was the only way to break through and the strategy paid off.

The Eagles earned an important Game 2 victory 3-1 over Idaho on Saturday night to level the first-round series in the Kelly Cup Playoffs at one game apiece and give themselves a chance to end it at home with three consecutive games coming at the Budweiser Events Center.

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