The Fort Wayne Komets captured the Bruce Taylor Trophy as Western Conference champions on Tuesday with a 3-2 overtime win over the Allen Americans in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.
Fort Wayne wins the series 3 games to 1, and advances to meet the South Carolina Stingrays in the 2021 Kelly Cup Finals. That series begins on Friday at the Carolina Ice Palace in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Trailing 2-0 late in the second period, Stephen Harper got the Komets on the scoreboard at 16:36 of the second period and Matthew Boudens forced extra time with 4:10 remaining in regulation. Alan Lyszczarczyk wasted no time in overtime, giving the Komets the winning tally 1:09 into the extra session.
Lyszczarczyk (3g-2a), Anthony Nellis (2g-3a) and Shawn Szydlowski led Fort Wayne in the series with five points each while Corey Mackin paced Allen with four goals and five points.
This is the Komets’ first trip to the Kelly Cup Finals in team history. Fort Wayne has won nine overall championships in the International Hockey League, United Hockey and Central Hockey League since its inception in 1952.
The trophy is named in recognition of Bruce Taylor, who was the founding father of the West Coast Hockey League. In the early 1990s, Taylor purchased teams in Fresno, Reno and Bakersfield and in 1995 joined them with teams in Anchorage, Fairbanks and San Diego to form the West Coast Hockey League. The Taylor Cup was presented to the playoff champion in the WCHL from the league’s inaugural season in 1995-96 until the league ceased operations following the 2002-03 season. Taylor’s ownership in hockey began in 1983 with the purchase of the Burnaby Bluehawks of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League and continued with the purchase of the Richmond Sockeyes in the BCJHL and the New Westminster Royals in the BCJHL.
Bruce Taylor Trophy Champions2021 Fort Wayne Komets2020 Trophy not awarded due to COVID-192019 Toledo Walleye2018 Colorado Eagles2017 Colorado Eagles 2016 Allen Americans 2015 Allen Americans 2014 Alaska Aces 2013 Stockton Thunder 2012 Las Vegas Wranglers 2011 Alaska Aces 2010 Idaho Steelheads 2009 Alaska Aces 2008 Las Vegas Wranglers 2007 Idaho Steelheads 2006 Alaska Aces 2005 Trenton Titans 2004 Idaho Steelheads 2003 Columbia Inferno 2002 Greenville Grrrowl 2001 South Carolina Stingrays 2000 Louisiana IceGators 1999 Mississippi Sea Wolves 1998 Pensacola Ice Pilots