Beyond The Benches

Top 5 ECHL Western Conference Teams

The ECHL season has turned the page to 2015. It has been a fun season so far and some teams have separated themselves from the pack. So with the All-Star game in the rear view mirror, let us take a look at the top 5 western conference teams.
5. Quad City Mallards (18-13-4-2)
 
The Mallards are currently in sixth place in the west but they hold at least 2 games in hand on the teams in front of them. Goalie tandem Parker Milner and Evan Mosher have split time relatively evenly with Milners stats being slightly better. They will need to rely on these goalies to keep track with the other strong offensive teams.
4. Colorado Eagles (26-13-0-0)
 
The Eagles have one of the best home ice advantages in the leagues. Led by Brock Nixon (20 G- 39 Pts) the Eagles have won 8 in a row and are 5 points behind first place Allen. Goalie Clarke Saunders has been huge for them winning 13 of the 16 games he’s played.
3. Ontario Reign (23-11-2-4)
 
The main reason Ontario is where they are is the balanced scoring they have had all season and the goaltending duo of Joe Cannata and Jussi Olkinuora. It has been a team effort and that balance will help the Reign finish the season strong.
2. Idaho Steelheads (25-11-1-3)
 
Led by forwards Jason Bast (24 G, 40 Pts), Wade McLeod (24 A, 39 Pts) and Alex Belzile (18 G, 37 Pts) the Steelheads have put themselves in second place in the west in points with 54. Olivier Roy has been a workhorse and his playoff experience should help Idaho once they reach the postseason.
1. Allen Americans (28-6-1-2)
 
The Americans come in at number one on the list despite losing the leagues leader in points Jack Combs to Europe. Allen still has stud forward Chad Costello, who has taken over the as the league leader in points, along with Gary Steffes and Ian Schultz. The loss of Combs is huge but look for Allen to continue rolling through the competition.

Writer: Sean Cahill is an Assignment Editor at ABC 6 In Providence, RI. A New England native, Sean is a huge fan of everything hockey, especially the Boston Bruins. He is also part of a radio show, The Sports Exchange, on Sunday nights. He can be reached on Twitter @CahillSean33.