NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – Kelly has a new home…and it’s Loveland, CO. For the first time in franchise history, the Colorado Eagles are Kelly Cup Champions. The championship is the franchise’s first league title since 2007, when they beat the Laredo Bucks 4 games to 2 in the Central Hockey League President’s Cup Finals.

The Eagles beat the Stingrays in a tight-checking game four by the score of 2-1. It is the Eagles’ first sweep in a championship series ever, and first in the ECHL. The Eagles are the fourth team to sweep the Kelly Cup Finals, joining 1991-92 Hampton Roads, 1995-96 Charlotte and 2001-02 Greenville (H/T to DJ Abisilah).

Casey Pierro-Zabotel opened the scoring with 2:50 left in the first period, when he deflected a Matt Register shot past Parker Milner.

Just forty-five seconds later, the Stingrays answered on what looked like a rather soft goal allowed by Lukas Hafner. This goal was scored by Derek Arnold, his third of the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

Despite allowing 22 shots on goal, the Stingrays were lucky to get out of the first period tied at 1.

The Eagles’ onslaught continued in the second period, and they added to their lead just 79 seconds into the middle stanza, when Luke Salazar tapped in the rebound of a Shawn St-Amant shot.

After quite a bit of time with back and forth play, the game was interrupted with 2:36 to play while crews worked to replace a pane of glass.

The rest of the period was played with little fanfare, but the Eagles continued to fire pucks on Milner, outshooting the Stingrays 15-10 in the middle frame.

The two sides played an evenly played third and final period, but South Carolina could not capitalize on a late high-sticking call on Alex Belzile. Colorado finished the game with 44 shots, to South Carolina’s 26.

Defenseman Matt Register won the playoff MVP award. The rear guardsman for Colorado leads all players with five game-winning goals in the playoffs. In addition, Register has recorded 10 points (2G, 8A) in his last six games, and leads all defensemen with 24 points (7G, 15A) — including 12 on the power play (5G, 7A) in 20 playoff games. Register is the first defenseman to win the award in league history.

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