The ECHL's Kelly Cup playoffs got under way tonight, less than 48 hours after the regular season closed, and the Las Vegas Wranglers and Florida Everblades made the first statements.
Las Vegas won 2-0 at Utah behind two goals from regular-season goal-scoring champ Eric Lampe, two helpers from former Alaska Aces winger Judd Blackwater and 21 saves from Mitch O'Keefe. That gives the Wranglers a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5, Western Conference quarterfinal series with the format -- 2-3 with the lower seed getting the first two homes games that The Blog isn't crazy about. Being the higher seed, yet having to play the first two games on the road is almost like being punished for being a good team. The reason for 2-3? Simple -- saving money. Teams only have to make one road trip within the series.
In the Eastern Conference, home team Florida beat Greenville 5-2 to open that best-of-5.
Weak attendance in both Utah and Florida, which we suppose isn't unexpected for a Monday night. In Utah, a mere 1,936. In Florida, just 2,137. Musta made for a lousy atmosphere in both venues.