Sunday, April 16, 2017

ECHL Playoff Update, San Jose Barracuda & Sharks Playoff Update, Six ECHL, AHL, NHL Affiliates All in Playoffs

With the Allen Americans idle until Wednesday here is a look at how the ECHL playoffs are progressing thus far. Some interesting matchups and results.


#1 Adirondack Thunder vs #4 Manchester Monarchs - Because of building availability #4 seed Manchester had the first two games of this series at home. They beat Adirondack 3-1 and 4-2 to take a 2-0 series lead. The bad news for the Monarchs is the final five games of this series will be played in Adirondack. During the regular season Manchester won four of eight games when playing in Adirondack so this series will be interesting to watch. These teams will play Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday this week.

#2 Reading Royals vs #3 Brampton Beast - These teams played only three times during the regular season with Brampton winning two of the three. This series is the traditional 2-3-2 format and after the first two games in Reading the series is tied 1-1. This has been a tight series thus far with the Royals winning game one 2-1 and the Beast winning game two last night 2-1 in overtime. The loss last night was a tough one for Reading as they scored at the 2:32 mark of the first period and held on to the 1-0 lead until less than four minutes left in the game. It took 14:47 of overtime for Brampton to get the game winner. There will be three games in Brampton this week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.


#1 Florida Everblades vs #4 Orlando Solar Bears - Orlando leads this series 2-0 in the biggest surprise thus far in the opening round of the playoffs. Florida was the top team in the Eastern Conference during the regular season with 97 points but did have a mediocre last 10 games of the season going 5-5. During the regular season the Everblades had a 10-4 record against the Solar Bears. Orlando beat Florida 4-2 in game one and 3-2 in game two. The series now moves back to Orlando for the next three games which will be on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

#2 Greenville Swamp Rabbits vs #3 South Carolina Stingrays - This series has progressed as expected with the higher seeded Greenville taking a 2-0 series lead by winning at home by scores of 4-1 and 6-3. These teams are very familiar with each other having played 14 times during the regular season with South Carolina having the better record (9-2-3-0). The series now moves to North Charleston for the next two games. Because these teams are only 200 miles apart this series is 2-2-1-1-1.


#1 Toledo Walleye vs #4 Kalamazoo Wings - During the regular season these teams met 10 times with Toledo coming out on top with a record of 6-3-0-1. Toledo is the overall #1 seed in the playoffs and has taken a 2-0 lead in this series winning the first two games 4-3 and 4-1. These teams play just 150 miles apart so this series will also be 2-2-1-1. They now head to Kalamazoo for games on Tuesday and Wednesday. Toledo had a 4-1 lead in game one before the Wings closed the gap to 4-3 and in game two the Walleye had a 4-0 lead before giving up a shorthanded goal late in the game. Bottom line is Toledo seems firmly in control of this series.

#2 Fort Wayne Komets vs #3 Quad City Mallards - If there is a first round sweep this is the series it might happen. Fort Wayne dominated Quad City during the regular season (8-2-1-1) and continued that in the first two games of the playoffs to take a 2-0 series lead. The Komets won game one 4-3 while out shooting Quad City 37-14 and won game two 3-1 out shooting the Mallards 37-18. This series is a 2-3-2 format so the teams now head to Quad City for games on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. During the regular season Fort Wayne played very well in Quad City (4-1-1-0) so this series could end in four or five games.


#2 Colorado Eagles vs #3 Idaho Steelheads - This series is an example of who is playing the best at the end of the season. Colorado led the division most of the season including a 17 game win streak but struggled down the stretch and gave up the division championship to Allen. The last 10 games of the season the Eagles were 5-5-0-0. Idaho on the other hand finished the season playing their best hockey and went 8-2-0-0 over their last 10 games. This series is tied 1-1 heading to Idaho for the next three games on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Colorado is lucky to be tied in this series. They lost game one 4-2 and came close to losing game two last night before winning 2-1 in overtime. The Eagles scored the tying goal with less than five minute left in the game and won on a Matt Register goal just 65 seconds into the overtime.

#1 Allen Americans vs #3 Utah Grizzlies - This series is tied 1-1 and Allen could have easily been down 2-0. They came from behind 3-1 in game one to win 4-3. Utah won game two 4-1 as they outplayed Allen for the first 40 minutes before the Americans had a good third period. This series now switches to Utah for games on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Inconsistent play has been an issue for Allen all season despite their great record. If the Americans plays like they did in the third period on Friday they will be fine. If they play like they did in the first two periods they will be in trouble. During the regular season Allen was 4-0 against Utah and were 3-0 in away games however, all four of these games were early in the season.


- It is great to see Allen getting some well deserved publicity on local television. Saw interviews with Chad Costello, Tommy Daniels and Steve Martinson over the last couple of days.

- The San Jose Barracuda lost their final regular season game last night to Bakersfield 3-2 in overtime. They now move on to the playoffs where they will play Stockton in a best of five series which starts on Friday. Here are the details:

- Allen's NHL affiliate (San Jose Sharks) is in the midst of their first round playoff series against the  Edmonton Oilers with the series tied 1-1. Here is a series update and game three preview.

DID YOU KNOW: Allen is one of six ECHL playoff teams that had both their AHL and NHL affiliates make the playoffs. The other five are Adirondack, Brampton, Orlando, South Carolina and Utah.  

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