Photo – Lauren Lyssy
Allen, TEXAS – The Allen Americans defeated the Fort Wayne Komets on Sunday afternoon by a score of 6-4 to win the Western Conference Championship, and advance on the ECHL Kelly Cup Finals. The Americans will play the winner of Wheeling and South Carolina, with the Stingrays leading the best of seven series 3-2.
The Americans found themselves in a 2-0 hole early, as the Komets scored twice in the first ten and a half minutes of the game. Allen would finally get on the board, as Vincent Arseneau tipped home an Eric Roy shot for his 6th of the playoffs to make it a 2-1 game at 14:25 of the first period. David Makowski would score on the power play to tie the game at 17:26 of the first, from Matt Register and Greger Hanson to make it a 2-2 game. That’s how the opening period would come to an end, with Fort Wayne leading in shots on goal 16 to 9.
The Americans scored two more times in the second period. First, Spencer Asuchak tipped one in an open net on a pass from J.P Lafontaine to make it 3-2 Allen. Then, Vincent Arseneau scored his second of the game on a pass across the crease from Nikita Jevpalovs to make it a 4-2 Americans lead. Despite being outshot 12 to 5 in the second, the Americans would take a two-goal lead to the final period.
The Komets would cut the lead to 4-3, when former Americans Captain Jamie Schaafsma fired a shot from the left corner that went into the net off of Jake Hildebrand to make it a one goal game. But it would be a Schaafsma double minor that would set up the game-winning goal for Allen. Eric Roy scored on the power play at 3;39 of the third to make it a 5-3 Allen lead. Fort Wayne would close the gap to one goal again on a goal by Garrett Meurs late in the third, but Greger Hanson’s empty netter would seal the deal, as the Americans defeated Fort Wayne by a score of 6 to 4 and eliminated the Komets in five games with a 4-1 series win.
“All our big players stepped up today and that led the way for our victory,” said Americans Head Coach Steve Martinson. ”I’m looking forward to a day off tomorrow and then see who we play in the finals.”
Game 6 of the ECHL Eastern Conference Finals is tomorrow night in North Charleston with the Stingrays leading the series over Wheeling 3-2.