Saturday, June 06, 2009

Caps' Farm Team Wins Kelly Cup In 7 Games

At a sold out (6610) Sullivan Arena in Anchorage Alaska, with its Olympic-sized ice sheet, the South Carolina Stingrays finally do away with the Alaska Aces in game 7 and are awarded the ECHL's Kelly Cup by a score of 4-2. The Stingrays, the Capitals' AA team, had a 3-1 advantage over the Aces but the Alaska group were resilient sending the series into a game seven.

The Stingrays were out-shot by the Aces in the first period but were able to get the game's first tally at 18:45. Maxime Lacroix scored to give the Rays an early lead. They built off of that lead with a goal early in the second by Rob Ricci. Ricci scored is first career goal as a professional player (let alone a big goal in a game seven series for the championship).

The Aces turned up the heat and it was up to James Reimer, a rookie goaltender, to turn them down. Micheal Neuvirth was the starting goaltender for the Rays at the beginning of the season, but has since helped the Hershey Bears in their playoff run.

Alaska would eventually get a goal to making it 2-1 going into the second intermission, but they could have done much worse if Reimer hadn't turned away chance after chance. He finished the night with 26 saves and the game's first star.

An insurance goal by the Stingrays came in the third at 11:06 and it turned out to be the game winner by Trent Campbell. The Aces made it interesting when the Rays took a bad slashing penalty late and scored to make it 3-2, but the Stingrays held firm and Pierre-Luc O'Brien scored on the empty net to solidify a championship season.

Congratulations to the Stingrays, ECHL's '08-'09 Kelly Cup winners.

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