NAHL alums help Allen capture ECHL's Kelly Cup
June 10, 2016
The Allen Americans claimed their second straight ECHL Kelly Cup title on Thursday with a 4-2 win over the Wheeling Nailers in Game 6 of the 2016 Kelly Cup Finals at the Allen Event Center. Two NAHL alumni played prominent roles in the win.
Allen is the first team to win back-to-back ECHL titles since the Toledo Storm claimed Riley Cup championships in 1993 and 1994. The Americans are the third team in League history to win consecutive championships, joining Toledo and the 1991 and 1992 Hampton Roads Admirals.
NAHL and Wichita Falls Wildcats alum Chad Costello of Allen was named the Most Valuable Player of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Costello, who led the ECHL in scoring during the regular season and was named 2015-16 ECHL Most Valuable Player, led all players in the postseason with 36 points (7g-29a). He becomes the first player in the ECHL's 28-year history to win the regular season and playoffs Most Valuable Player awards. Costello played a full season in the NAHL during the 2004-05 campaign with the Wichita Falls Wildcats
Costello tallied 10 assists in the Kelly Cup Finals, setting a new record for most assists in a Finals series in ECHL history, while his 13 points in the Finals is the third most in a Finals series in league history. Costello's 36 points in the playoffs is the second most in a single postseason in ECHL history while his 29 assists are the most in a single postseason all-time.
Former NAHL and Texarkana and current Allen goaltender Riley Gill, who made 42 saves in the clinching game, claimed his third Kelly Cup title with the win after previously winning titles with Reading in 2013 and Allen in 2015. He becomes just the fifth individual in ECHL history to win three Kelly Cup titles. Gill played three full seasons in the NAHL for the Texarkana Bandits and then head coach Jon Cooper (now Tampa Bay Lightning Head Coach) from 2003-06.
In total, four NAHL alumni helped the Americans win the title, which included Costello, Gill, David Makowski (St. Louis Bandits, 2007-08) and Aaron Gens (Topeka/Santa Fe RoadRunners, 2005-08). In addition, Tony Curtale, who is the all-time NAHL wins leader for a coach, was behind the bench for the Americans this season as the Assistant Coach. Curtale has won six Robertson Cups (two with Springfield, four with Texas).