Western Conference Finals Preview

Western Conference Finals (Best of Seven)

 

Toledo Walleye vs. Colorado Eagles
Series Matchup Sheet


Two of the top three teams during the ECHL regular season meet to determine the Western Conference champion. Toledo captured its second Brabham Cup in the last three seasons as ECHL regular-season champions while Colorado was third in the league with a record of 47-20-5 for 99 points.

 

The Walleye survived Kalamazoo 4 games to 3 in the North Division Semifinals before eliminating Fort Wayne 4 games to 1 in the North Division Finals. Toledo, which was second in the regular season with 26 home wins, has carried that success over to the playoffs, going a perfect 7-0 at Huntington Center in the first two rounds. The Walleye lead the postseason on the power play, converting at a 26.7 percent clip (12-for-45).

 

Kyle Bonis and Evan Rankin are among a group of players tied for third in the playoffs with seven goals. Tyson Spink leads rookies, and is second overall, with 15 points (6g-9a) while Bonis is tied for third with 14 points. Jeff Lerg has appeared in seven games during the playoffs for the Walleye posting a 5-2 record with one shutout, a 2.18 goals-against average and a save percentage of .926.

 

Colorado is making its first appearance in the Western Conference Finals after defeating Idaho 4 games to 1 in the Mountain Division Semifinals before taking down two-time defending Kelly Cup-champion Allen 4 games to 2 in the Mountain Division Finals. The Eagles rank second among all playoff teams with 3.45 goals per game and have posted a perfect 6-0 record on the road in the first two rounds.

 

Alex Belzile leads all players through two rounds with eight goals and 17 points while Matt Register, the 2016-17 ECHL Defenseman of the Year, leads all blueliners in the playoffs with five goals and 12 points. In goal, Lukas Hafner has posted a 7-2 record in nine appearances with a 2.58 goals-against average and a save percentage of. 906.

 

The winner of the Western Conference Finals receives the Bruce Taylor Trophy. 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.
 

Game 1 – Friday, May 12 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo
Game 2 – Saturday, May 13 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo
Game 3 – Wednesday, May 17 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado
Game 4 – Friday, May 19 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado
Game 5 – Saturday, May 20 at 4:05 p.m. MT at Colorado (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Monday, May 22 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, May 24 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)