AMERICANS OPEN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS TODAY AT HOME
May 17th, 2015 by Tommy Daniels
Allen, Texas – The Allen Americans are in the Western Conference Finals for a third year in a row, this time as members of the 28 team league, the ECHL. Allen had the best overall record in Western Conference and will have home ice advantage against the Ontario Reign. The series opens on Sunday afternoon at 4:05 pm at Allen Event Center.
Allen finished the regular season with a record of 48-14-6-4 for 106 points, ten points more than Ontario, who finished with 96 (43-19-4-6.) The two teams met twice in the regular season, with both games in Ontario. The Reign won 4-1 on February 10th, with the Americans bouncing back the next night to win, 5-3. Gary Steffes, Chad Costello and Kyle Follmer all had two points each to lead the Americans in the two-game set.
Chad Costello led the Americans with 125 points in the regular season, while Gary Steffes had 44 goals; an Americans single season high.
“We are focused and ready to go,” said Americans forward Chad Costello. “We have one goal in mind here in Allen, and that is to win a championship.”
Ontario Reign forward Matt White has three goals against Allen in the two games, while former Americans, Judd Blackwater and Matt Register, both have two points each. Blackwater led the Reign in goals during the regular season with 35, while White finished second with 28.Gary Nunn who spent the majority of the season with Gwinnett, had 65 points in 73 games, 21 of those points with Ontario.
“The Reign are a skilled, deep team, much like us,” said Americans forward Chris Crane, during the Allen Americans Radio Show on Thursday night at Kelly’s. “I know White and Kitsyn from last season. I played almost half the year in Ontario. This is a good team and we need to get off to a strong start this weekend.”
The Allen Americans played five games outside the ECHL Central Division this season, going 2-2-1, with the most impressive victories coming on the road in Ontario and Toledo.
Matt Register was on the Americans roster for 22 games in the 2011-2012 season, where he made his pro debut, scoring 1 goal while adding 3 assists for four points. He bounced around the minors for a couple seasons before finding a home in Ontario in the 2012-2013 season. His biggest numbers came last year when he had 50 points in 60 games. He played six games in the American League last year for Chicago and had 4 assists. Register is leading the Reign in postseason points with 14.
Judd Blackwater returned to the ECHL this season, after playing in Europe last year. Blackwater was a teammate of Matt Register on the Americans 2011-2012 roster. He had 49 points in 49 games for the Americans (20 g, 29a). Blackwater will be remembered most for his time in Allen for his KO of Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs defenseman, Jim Jorgenson.
Puck drop this afternoon is 4:05 pm at Allen Event Center. Tickets are on sale at www.ticketmaster.com or call 972-912-1000.