The final day of the first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs is today, and only one series remains to be decided – Utah vs. Las Vegas, tied at 2 games apiece heading into Game 5 tonight in Utah. The winner gets fed to the top-seeded Idaho Steelheads in the second round.
The Stockton Thunder eliminated the Alaska Aces in five games, despite starting the series with two road games in Wasilla, Alaska. The Thunder will play the Bakersfield Condors, who eliminated the Victoria Salmon Kings with a 2-1 win Monday at Rabobank Arena.
If you like drama, you probably would have enjoyed watching the Condors’ Dan Kissel score the game-winning goal with 49 seconds left in regulation to oust the Salmon Kings. Recall that this is a Condors squad with two former NHL players (veteran Kyle Calder and Anaheim Ducks prospect MacGregor Sharp) on its roster. Instead the winning goal is credited to Kissel, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound 23-year-old who signed as an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame, playing just his 16th professional game.
If anyone did their homework in Bakersfield, they were shouting “Ru-dy!” at the end of this one.