The Sin Bin’s Kelly Cup Playoff Coverage is presented by Kalwei Law Firm
Now that each team has had a day to digest game 1, it will be interesting to see how Spencer Carbery and Steve Martinson adjust their game plans to what each coach witnessed on Sunday.
For Allen, the changes begin by being smarter with the puck. The Stingrays are a speedy team and turned a pair of Americans turnovers into goals, including the game-winning goal, on Sunday. In his postgame remarks, head coach Steve Martinson said he needed more from his top players. I would look for him to shuffle Costello, Steffes and Hanson around on different lines to where the matchup would be in Allen’s advantage. Remember, with the loss Sunday evening, South Carolina now has last change in tonight’s game.
Also in his postgame comments, Martinson mentioned the top defensive pair was not ready for the line of Andrew Rowe/Wayne Simpson/Derek DeBlois. I would expect to see a much tighter defensive game from that pair tonight.
It remains to be seen if forward Ian Schultz will play tonight. Martinson has been coy about when Schultz might return, only to say he is “day-to-day.”
On the South Carolina side of the ledger, Head Coach Spencer Carbery told the Post and Courier the Stingrays’ strength in game 1 was their team defense.
“We really struggled to create scoring chances and didn’t have much puck possession in the offensive zone,” Carbery said. “I thought defensively we were pretty good, but we’ve got to do a better job creating chances. Our special teams were not very good either. We’ve got to be better offensively, but not at the expense of our defensive systems.”
You cannot ask for a better effort from the top line than the Stingrays got in game 1. Knowing that Allen is likely to play Rowe/Simpson/DeBlois tougher in game 2, the onus will be placed on the Stingrays’ scoring depth to show through.
The South Carolina Stingrays and Allen Americans will take to the ice for game 2 of the Kelly Cup Finals at the Allen Event Center. Faceoff is set for 7:05 pm.
OTHER GAME NOTES:
- In 26 previous Kelly Cup Final game 2’s, the home team has a record of 16-10.
- With 32 points so far in the playoffs, South Carolina’s Wayne Simpson is two points shy of breaking the ECHL record for most points in a playoff season. The record is 34 set by Blaine Moore (1995-Richmond) and John Spoltore (2000-Louisiana
- Steve Martinson is 8-1 with the Americans in game 2s
- Stingrays Captain Andrew Rowe leads the team with 12 playoff goals
- Allen’s Chris Crane has the fourth best plus/minus, with a +12
Stay with The Sin Bin for a full recap of game 2 later tonight!