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2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs

ECHL Mountain Division Semifinal Preview: #2 Allen Americans vs. #3 Kansas City Mavericks

ECHL Mountain Division Semifinal Preview: #2 Allen Americans vs. #3 Kansas City Mavericks

ALLEN, Texas – With two rivals so close, it would only stand to reason they’d meet in the playoffs more, right?


For just the second time in the ECHL era and the first since 2016, the Allen Americans and Kansas City Mavericks will meet in a playoff series. In the first matchup, won by Allen en route to their fourth straight overall league title and second straight Kelly Cup, the Americans dispatched the Mavs 4 games to 2, in a series that had it all…including stink bait on the Americans bench.

Times have changed, and so have the characters. But the intensity remains the same.

Allen enters the playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the ECHL, going 28-15-2 over their final 45 games to earn their third consecutive playoff berth and finish a distant second in the Mountain Division. Offensively, they’re one of the most talented teams, led by likely ECHL Most Valuable Player, Hank Crone, to go with Colton HargroveJack Combs, and Liam Finlay…together known as the “Four Sure Line.”

Kansas City returns to the playoffs for the first time since 2019, and the first time under head coach Tad O’Had. The Mavericks got to the playoffs with a strong showing from Shane Starrett down the stretch, posting back-to-back shutouts,  four straight wins, and a minuscule 1.00 goals against average.

Final Regular Season Records:

Allen: 37-32-2-1, 77 points

Kansas City: 34-30-6-2, 74 points

Series Schedule (Home team in CAPS and all times local):

Game 1 – Wednesday, April 19 – Allen at KANSAS CITY – 7:05 pm CT

Game 2 – Thursday, April 20 – Allen at KANSAS CITY – 7:05 pm CT

Game 3 – Monday, April 24 – Allen at KANSAS CITY – 7:05 pm CT

Game 4 – Friday, April 28 – Kansas City at ALLEN – 7:05 pm CT

*Game 5 – Saturday, April 29 – Kansas City at ALLEN – 7:05 pm CT

*Game 6 – Monday, May 1 – Kansas City at ALLEN – 7:05 pm CT

*Game 7 – Wednesday, May 3 – Kansas City at ALLEN – 7:05 pm CT

* => If Necessary

Season Series Recap:

The season series between these two teams was a close one, with five of the six games being decided by less than two goals. Allen won four of the six meetings, but Kansas City won the last meeting, a 2-0 decision on the final Tuesday of the season.

Crone and Hargrove each had seven points in the season series for Allen, while Pascal Laberge had five goals and ten points to carry the offensive water for Kansas City.

How Allen Wins:

Allen’s strength comes from its offense. When scoring first, Allen is 23-8-2 this season. In the last few games, the Allen back end has become deeper with the assignment of Zachary Massicotte and goaltender Kevin Mandolese from Belleville. If Allen can play from ahead, while getting timely stops from their defense and goaltending, they have a chance to win.

How Kansas City Wins:

Kansas City’s offensive depth is thin, however, they were assigned Tristan Mullin from Coachella Valley earlier in the week, which should provide a shot in the arm. For the Mavs faithful, the concern will be how durable Starrett is after starting over 50 games during the regular season. They’ll need Starrett to continue his hot play, and as a defensive unit, they cannot get into a track meet with the Americans offense.

Download the Field Pass Hockey app from the iTunes or Google Play stores or follow @FieldPassHockey on Twitter for the latest news on the AHL, ECHL, and SPHL throughout the 2023 season!

    Matthew Harding is the Managing Editor for Field Pass Hockey, covers the ECHL and the Wichita Thunder. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHThunder.

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