Thursday, May 14, 2015

The ECHL Final Four Compared, Two Referees Now, Allen Connection to Four Kelly Cup MVP Winners

The 2015 Kelly Cup playoffs are down to the final four with Allen vs Ontario in the Western Conference and Toledo vs South Carolina in the Eastern Conference. The last piece of the puzzle fell into place last night as Toledo used home ice to their advantage to best Fort Wayne 5-2 in game seven of the series. The home team won all seven games and last night Toledo jumped out to a 4-0 lead and cruised to victory.

- Thought it would be interesting to see how the final four teams have been performing during the playoffs but wanted to start out by looking back at the regular season. Many say how teams performed in the regular season doesn't matter once you get to the playoffs but the final four are all #1 or #2 seeds in their division. The top team in points in each conference during the regular season (Toledo in the East & Allen in the West) is still alive.

- With four grueling best of seven round victories needed to claim the Kelly Cup how tough the path is might be a factor. Here are the number of games played by the final four to get to the Conference Finals with the number of overtime periods played in parentheses.

14 games (6 OT) - Toledo
12 games (6 OT) - South Carolina
12 games (1 OT) - Ontario
11 games (1 OT) - Allen


- Winning Percentage
.727 - Allen
.667 - Ontario
.615 - South Carolina
.571 - Toledo

- Penalty Minutes (average per game)
17.67 - Ontario
15.64 - Allen
14.08 - South Carolina
8.71 - Toledo

- Power Play Percentage
26.2% - Ontario
20.8% - Allen
19.6% - South Carolina
14.3% - Toledo

- Penalty Kill Percentage
84.2% - Toledo
82.8% - Ontario
82.4% - South Carolina
80.4% - Allen

- Goals For (average per game)
4.27 - Allen
3.50 - Ontario
3.23 - South Carolina
2.86 - Toledo

- Goals Against (average per game)
2.25 - Ontario
2.29 - Toledo
2.92 - South Carolina
3.00 - Allen

- Shots For (average per game)
37.45 - Allen
31.85 - South Carolina
30.07 - Toledo
26.93 - Ontario

- Shot Against (average per game)
23.83 - Ontario
24.27 - Allen
31.46 - South Carolina
33.07 - Toledo

- Team Plus/Minus
+59 - Allen
+40 - Ontario
+31 - Toledo
+23 - South Carolina

- Attendance (average per game)
4992 - Toledo
4049 - Allen
2833 - Ontario
2357 - South Carolina


- Rosters become frozen when the Conference Finals begin so even if a team has a player eligible to join the team they can no longer be added.

- Players will have to be careful behind the play as the ECHL uses a two referee system from here on out. This will mark the third consecutive season that the ECHL will utilize a two referee system for all games in the Conference Finals and Kelly Cup Finals.

- Here is the schedule for both Conference Finals. All times are local times. *if necessary

Eastern Conference Finals
 Game 1 - Fri May 15 7:35 PM South Carolina at Toledo
Game 2 - Sat May 16 8:05 PM South Carolina at Toledo
Game 3 - Wed May 20 7:05 PM Toledo at South Carolina
Game 4 - Fri May 22 7:05 PM Toledo at South Carolina
Game 5 - Sat May 23 7:05 PM * Toledo at South Carolina
Game 6 - Tue May 26 7:35 PM * South Carolina at Toledo
Game 7 - Wed May 27 7:35 PM * South Carolina at Toledo

Western Conference Finals
Game 1 - Sun May 17 4:05 PM Ontario at Allen
Game 2 - Mon May 18 7:05 PM Ontario at Allen
Game 3 - Thu May 21 7:00 PM Allen at Ontario
Game 4 - Sat May 23 6:00 PM Allen at Ontario
Game 5 - Sun May 24 6:00 PM * Allen at Ontario
Game 6 - Tue May 26 7:05 PM * Ontario at Allen
Game 7 - Wed May 27 7:05 PM * Ontario at Allen

- The Allen Americans will practice today and remember practices are open to the public. Haven't seen a schedule but they typically start at 10:00 a.m. in the main rink unless that is being set up for another event and then practice is in the community rink next door.

- Another former Central Hockey League (CHL) official has found a new job. The Professional Hockey Players' Association (PHPA) announced yesterday that Jim Wiley, who served as the CHL Director of Hockey Operations from 2008 until the league disbanded this season, has been hired as a field consultant and adviser. One of Jim's responsibilities in the CHL was to preside over all supplementary discipline actions which meant he had to review video on mandatory review penalties and also video sent in by teams. Jim was always generous with his time and spent many hours educating me and explaining why he did or did not take certain disciplinary actions including showing me the video teams sent in to be reviewed which was often times very poor quality. Even if you disagreed with Jim he took the time to explain in detail the rationale for his decision. Jim has a wealth of knowledge having played and coached at every level of hockey including the NHL, AHL, ECHL & CHL. He was very kind to me and I wish Jim well in his new position with the PHPA.

DID YOU KNOW: There are four guys with ties to the Allen Americans that have won the Kelly Cup MVP Award.

Riley Gill - Riley was the Kelly Cup MVP in 2012-2013 leading the Reading Royals to victory over the Stockton Thunder. Reading won the series 4-1. Riley played in seventeen playoff games and had a GAA of 1.91 and save percentage of .930.

Scott Howes - Before Scott had 21 goals in 22 games for Allen to start the 2012-2013 season he was the Kelly Cup MVP playing for the Alaska Aces in 2010-2011. Alaska beat Kalamazoo 4-1 in that series. Scott played in twelve playoff games and had nineteen points (7 goals 12 assists).

Steve Silverthorn - Before Steve played 33 games in goal for Allen in the 2012-2013 season he was the Kelly Cup MVP in 2006-2007 playing for the Idaho Steelheads. Idaho beat the Dayton Bombers 4-1 in that series. Steve played in twenty two games during the playoffs and had a GAA of 1.77 and save percentage of .931.

Kevin Colley - Before Kevin started helping out in Allen this year he was the head coach in Arizona (CHL) and Utah (ECHL). Before becoming a coach Kevin played in the NHL and AHL but if you go back to 2002-2003 Kevin was the Kelly Cup MVP playing for the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies. Atlantic City beat the Columbia Inferno 4-1 in that series. In seventeen playoff games Kevin had twenty points (13 goals 7 assists).

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