MONTREAL, QC.–The Kalamazoo Wings took the ECHL Eastern Conference title from the Wheeling Nailers in a 4-2 series win that concluded Tuesday night as goaltender Ryan Nie made 37 saves to procure his team a 6-1 victory. Ten different players found their way onto the scoresheet for the New York Islanders/Bridgeport Sound Tigers’ affiliate, as two Montreal Canadiens’ prospects now find themselves on vacation as a result of the defeat.
Jon Landry scored first on the power play, giving the K-Wings the lead at the end of the first period. Joey Haddad’s 7th goal of the postseason knotted things up at one before Aaron Clarke responded for Kalamazoo just minutes later. Then on another man advantage, Trent Daavettilla put an Andrew Fournier pass over a sliding Peter Delmas. The K-Wings emerged in the third period with three more goals, none of which Wheeling could respond to, despite firing a total of 38 shots at the opposing net.
Defenseman David Urquhart had an assist on his team’s only goal. He had three more in his 7 other postseason contests, having been assigned to the Nailers by the Hamilton Bulldogs on April 25th.
Between the pipes, Delmas made 29 saves in a losing cause. He had missed his two previous starts due to an undisclosed injury.
Kalamazoo now faces the Alaska Aces for the Kelly Cup title. Alaska, in its third finals’ presence in the last 6 years, has won all eight of their playoff games since earning a bye to the second round for their first-place ranking. That best-of-seven series will get underway this Saturday, May 14th in Anchorage at 11:15 p.m. EST.