Two other keys to victory for Allen didn't work out so well. Getting out to a fast start didn't happen. South Carolina not only scored the first goal of the game but also the second and third. Finally, special teams favored the Stingrays as they got their first power play goal of the series going 1-3 in the game. Allen was 0-3 and has now gone four games without a power play goal (0-11).
So there is plenty to find fault with how the Americans played in the game last night but the trip to South Carolina was a huge success. Most (including yours truly) didn't expect there would be a return trip to Allen for game seven. To go on the road trailing 2-1 in the series and come away with two wins to set up a game seven at home is a great accomplishment. Sure it is disappointing to win the first two games in South Carolina and lose the third but one of the reasons the team played their butts off all season was the get home ice advantage. Now they have the chance to make that home ice advantage pay off.
Allen and South Carolina are two great hockey teams that are well coached, have a ton of talent, and deserve to be in this position. After a grueling and grinding playoffs run of 24 games for the Americans and 26 games for the Stingrays it only seems appropriate it comes down to one game, winner take all, for the Kelly Cup. May the best team win and regardless of the outcome both of these teams have shown the greatness of ECHL playoff hockey and should be proud of what they have achieved this season.
STEVE MARTINSON'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- It is simple to explain the loss tonight as we had way too many unforced turnovers in the game which gave South Carolina way to many quality scoring opportunities.
- We did not have enough guys playing hard enough to win, it is that simple.
- More important than home ice on Sunday is we need all hands on deck. Not sure if we need a motivational speaker or or some mirrors but it is time for our veteran players to step up for the game of a lifetime.
SPENCER CARBERY'S POST GAME COMMENTS
- I was really proud of the team tonight. After having two difficult games and with our backs up against a wall at home, after playing the last two games and losing with crushing defeats, for us to respond and force a game seven in their building makes me proud of our group.
- The team gets to play one game for a Kelly Cup championship and not a lot of people can say that. It is something to savor and we are going to go in there guns a blazing.
- We did exactly what we wanted to do game plan wise. We executed it, guys competed, we were on the puck. It was impressive all the way around.
- Anything can happen in game seven. That is what we wanted, to get to game seven and give ourselves an opportunity to play one game for a Kelly Cup. Now it is a matter of taking advantage of this opportunity and trying to hoist that cup on Sunday in Allen, Texas.
- It is game seven and anything can happen. We don't feel we have an advantage but we feel comfortable. Their building is going to be full, it is a tough environment to play in and we know that. But we are in the dance.
- There will be more game preview information over the next few days but thought it would be good to share some cumulative stats for the first six games of the series as it shows how evenly matched Allen and South Carolina have been.
Goals: Allen (16) - South Carolina (18)
Shots: Allen (185) - South Carolina (177)
Power Play: Allen (3-17) - South Carolina (1-21)
Penalty Minutes: Allen (92) - South Carolina (94)
- Allen fans are beyond fortunate to have the opportunity to win a championship on home ice for the third straight year. Hope the AEC is full and the crowd is loud.
- The game on Sunday will be the 25th playoff game for Allen and the 14th home playoff game this season. In the first 13 home games the Americans have an average attendance of 3358. South Carolina averaged 3238 for the 13 games they played at home.
- Steve Martinson is 9-0 in playoff series since becoming coach of the Allen Americans. How sweet would It be to get to 10-0. His record in elimination games is also perfect at 7-0.
DID YOU KNOW: The game on Sunday will be only the fourth time in the 27 year history of the ECHL that a series has gone seven games. It happened in the first year (1989) and also in 1999 and 2009. In 2009 South Carolina defeated Alaska. Stingrays coach Spencer Carbery was a player on that team and they won game seven on the road.