2016KellyCupPlayoffs_665x310_1

Conference Quarterfinals Preview


Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (Best of Seven)

#1 Toledo Walleye (47-20-5) vs. #8 Reading Royals (36-26-10)
Series Matchup Sheet

Toledo enters the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons coming off its second consecutive North Division title. Last season, the Walleye played in three separate Game 7’s, including the Eastern Conference Finals, where they fell to South Carolina 1-0 in triple overtime. Reading has reached the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the seventh straight season and for the 11th in 15 seasons.

This is the second time that Toledo and Reading have met in the postseason. The Royals defeated the Toledo Storm 3 games to 1 in the 2005 North Division Semifinals.

The two teams met twice during the regular season with the Walleye winning both games in early January in Reading. All-ECHL First Team selection Shane Berschbach led the Walleye in the head-to-head meetings with three goals and five points while Jeff Lerg earned both wins for Toledo in goal, allowing three goals in the two games. Adam Comrie, who was named to the All-ECHL Second Team, led Reading with three points (1g-2a) in the two games.

The Walleye were second in the league during the regular season with 27 wins at home and they were one of just four teams to win at least 20 games both at home and on the road. Toledo was sixth in the league offensively, averaging 3.13 goals per game, and was third allowing 2.42 goals-against per game.

The Royals posted a 20-11-3 record away from home during the regular season with the 11 regulation losses tied for the third fewest in the league. Reading was sixth in the league on the power play, converting at 18.6 percent (51-for-274).

Game 1 – Friday, April 15 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo
Game 2 – Saturday, April 16 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo
Game 3 – Tuesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. ET at Reading
Game 4 – Wednesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. ET at Reading
Game 5 – Friday, April 22 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Sunday, April 24 at 4 p.m. ET at Reading (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Tuesday, April 26 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)

#2 South Carolina Stingrays (44-18-10) vs. #7 Kalamazoo Wings (38-28-6)
Series Matchup Sheet

South Carolina comes into the postseason as the best team in the ECHL since Feb. 1 owning a 23-2-5 record over its last 30 games. Kalamazoo also streaks into the playoffs having posted an 11-1-1 record over its last 13 games.

The two clubs did not meet during the 2015-16 regular season but do have one prior postseason meeting with the K-Wings defeating South Carolina 4 games to 1 in the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Stingrays captured the South Division title for the second time in the last three seasons and look to build off last season’s playoff success which saw them win a pair of Game 7’s before falling in a third Game 7 at Allen in the Kelly Cup Finals. During the 2015-16 regular season, South Carolina led the league on the penalty kill at 87.5 percent and was tied for the league lead with 2.25 goals-against per game.

The K-Wings were third during the regular season with 3.24 goals per game, and rode the goaltending of Joel Martin, who played a league-high 64 games while posting a league-leading 34 wins and 2,084 saves.

Game 1 – Friday, April 15 at 7 p.m. ET at Kalamazoo
Game 2 – Saturday, April 16 at 7 p.m. ET at Kalamazoo
Game 3 – Monday, April 18 at 7 p.m. ET at Kalamazoo
Game 4 – Thursday, April 21 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South Carolina
Game 5 – Saturday, April 23 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South Carolina (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Sunday, April 24 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South Carolina (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Tuesday, April 26 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South Carolina (If Necessary)

#3 Manchester Monarchs (39-24-9) vs. #6 Adirondack Thunder (38-28-6)
Series Matchup Sheet

A pair of ECHL newcomers will face off in the opening round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Manchester and Adirondack are no strangers to one another after meeting 15 times during the regular season. The Monarchs went 8-6-1 in the season series while the Thunder posted a 7-5-3 mark.

Manchester’s Maxim Kitsyn, who led the Monarchs against Adirondack with 10 points (4g-6a) in 14 games during the season series, finished second in the ECHL with a +37 rating while Doug Carr posted a 4-1-0 record against the Thunder with a 2.23 goals-against average.

Adirondack’s Michael Kirkpatrick, the runner-up for ECHL Rookie of the Year, led all first-year players with 29 goals, which was tied for third overall in the league. In goal, Ken Appleby was ninth overall, and fourth among rookies, with a 2.24 goals-against average while ranking fifth in the league with a .924 save percentage.

Game 1 – Wednesday, April 13 at 7 p.m. ET at Manchester
Game 2 – Friday, April 15 at 7 p.m. ET at Manchester
Game 3 – Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Adirondack
Game 4 – Monday, April 18 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack
Game 5 – Wednesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. ET at Manchester (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m. ET at Manchester (If Necessary)

#4 Florida Everblades (46-23-3) vs. #5 Wheeling Nailers (37-26-9)
Series Matchup Sheet

Florida is appearing in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the 17th time in its 18 seasons in the ECHL while Wheeling has reached the postseason for the fifth time in six seasons and for the 17th time overall.

The Nailers won two of three games at Florida in November in the only meetings between the teams during the regular season. Riley Brace led Wheeling in the season series with three goals while Florida was paced by Brant Harris, who scored four goals.

Florida was led offensively this season by ECHL Rookie of the Year Matt Willows, who led all first-year players and was sixth overall in the league with 66 points (23g-43a). In goal, Anthony Peters, who finished fifth in Rookie of the Year voting, was fifth overall with 27 wins and seventh with a 2.20 goals-against average.

The Everblades finished in the top five both offensively and defensively during the regular season, ranking fifth with 3.14 goals per game and fourth with 2.43 goals-against per game.

Brace, who was named to the All-ECHL Second Team, was tied for fifth in the ECHL with 67 points (26g-41a) while Mathew Maione, an All-ECHL First Team selection, led all defensemen in the league with 43 assists and 54 points.

The Nailers were fourth in the league with 32.64 shots per game and went 24-7-2 when scoring the game’s first goal.

Game 1 – Friday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida
Game 2 – Saturday, April 16 at 7 p.m. ET at Florida
Game 3 – Wednesday, April 20 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Wheeling
Game 4 – Friday, April 22 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Wheeling
Game 5 – Saturday, April 23 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Wheeling (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Monday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)

Western Conference Quarterfinals (Best of Seven)

#1 Missouri Mavericks (52-15-5) vs. #8 Quad City Mallards (37-29-6)
Series Matchup Sheet

Missouri enters the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time in club history while Quad City returns after falling to Rapid City in seven games in the Central Division Semifinals last season. The Mavericks captured the Brabham Cup as ECHL regular-season champions after posting a 44-point improvement over last season, tied for the eighth-best single-season improvement in ECHL history. The Mallards went 10-4-0 over their final 14 regular-season games to beat out Tulsa for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Mavericks went 5-0-0 against Quad City in the regular season while the Mallards went 0-4-1 against Missouri. Tyler Barnes led Missouri in the season series with 10 points (4g-6a) while Josh Robinson went 3-0-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average. Quad City was led by Zach Pochiro, who had four points (2g-2a) against the Mavericks.

Missouri went 29-6-1 at home, tied for the third most home wins in league history, while its 23 home wins were tied for the most in the ECHL this season. The Mavericks were tied for the league lead with 2.25 goals-against per game and were second with 3.25 goals per game. Robinson earned All-ECHL First Team honors after leading the league with a 1.88 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage while he was tied for second with 28 wins.

Quad City also enjoyed success on home ice this season, posting a 22-12-1 record at iWirelessCenter, with the 22 home wins tied for seventh in the league. Olivier Archambault led the Mallards during the season with 22 goals and 52 points. Matt Neal was tied for seventh among ECHL rookies with 51 points (18g-33a) while Mike Monfredo was tied for fourth among defensemen with 31 assists and was tied for 10th among blueliners with 37 points.

Game 1 – Saturday, April 16 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Missouri
Game 2 – Sunday, April 17 at 4:05 p.m. CT at Missouri
Game 3 – Wednesday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m. CT at Quad City
Game 4 – Friday, April 22 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Quad City
Game 5 – Saturday, April 23 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Quad City (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, April 26 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Missouri (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, April 27 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Missouri (If Necessary)

#2 Fort Wayne Komets (40-23-9) vs. #7 Cincinnati Cyclones (36-27-9)
Series Matchup Sheet

Fort Wayne is making its third straight appearance in the Kelly Cup Playoffs while Cincinnati is in the postseason for the eighth time in the last 10 seasons.

This is the second playoff matchup between the two teams in the last three seasons. The Cyclones defeated the Komets 4 games to 2 in the 2014 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

During the regular season, Fort Wayne went 5-5-0 against the Cyclones while Cincinnati went 5-4-1 against the Komets. Mike Embach (6g-4a) and Shawn Szydlowski (4g-6a) led Fort Wayne with 10 points each while Jack Downing paced Cincinnati with six goals and 12 points.

Both teams enjoyed success at home in the regular season with Fort Wayne posting a 22-9-5 record at home and Cincinnati going 23-8-5 on home ice.

Szydlowski, an All-ECHL Second Team selection, was third in the league with 50 assists and 75 points. In goal, Pat Nagle was tied for second in the league with 28 wins and was 12th with a 2.36 goals-against average.

Downing was tied for the ECHL lead with 32 goals while Nick Huard was sixth among rookies with 52 points (21g-31a) and he led the league with 15 power-play goals.

Game 1 – Friday, April 15 at 8 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne
Game 2 – Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne
Game 3 – Wednesday, April 20 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati
Game 4 – Friday, April 22 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati
Game 5 – Saturday, April 23 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Monday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne (If Necessary)

#3 Colorado Eagles (41-27-4) vs. #6 Utah Grizzlies (39-27-6)
Series Matchup Sheet

Colorado earned its first division title in five ECHL seasons while Utah’s 39 wins are the most it has posted in its 11 seasons in the league. The Eagles have advanced to the postseason in all five of their ECHL seasons while the Grizzlies are tied for the second-longest active playoff streak having qualified for the ninth consecutive season.

During the regular season, the Eagles went 3-5-2 against Utah while the Grizzlies posted a 7-3-0 mark against Colorado. Trent Daavettila led Colorado with 10 points (4g-6a) while in goal, Clarke Saunders went 2-0-0 with a 2.50 goals-against average. Barry Almeida paced Utah in the head-to-head series with seven goals and 12 points with Ryan Faragher posting a 6-3-0 record and a 2.77 goals-against average.

Daavettila, who earned a spot on the All-ECHL First Team, was second in the league with 55 assists and 80 points was fourth in plus-minus at +30. Adrian Veideman, who was named to the All-ECHL Second Team, was tied for first among defensemen with 17 goals while ranking second with 44 points. Fellow blueliner Collin Bowman was fourth among defensemen with 16 goals.

Utah was led by Charles Sarault, who was tied for fourth in the league with 43 assists, tied for 10th with 62 points and tied for second with 21 power-play assists. Farahger was 10th in the league with a 2.33 goals-against average.

Game 1 – Thursday, April 14 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado
Game 2 – Sunday, April 17 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado
Game 3 – Thursday, April 21 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Utah
Game 4 – Saturday, April 23 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Utah
Game 5 – Sunday, April 24 at 4:05 p.m. MT at Utah (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, April 26 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, April 27 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado (If Necessary)

#4 Allen Americans (41-24-7) vs. #5 Idaho Steelheads (38-24-10)
Series Matchup Sheet

Allen opens defense of its Kelly Cup title against two-time champion Idaho, which is making its 13th consecutive postseason appearance, the longest active streak in the ECHL.

During the four-game season series, both teams went 2-1-1 as the clubs split a two-game series in each building. Former Steelheads’ forward Tristan King led Allen in the head-to-head series with three goals while Chad Costello had seven points (2g-5a). Idaho was led by Kyle Jean who had six points, all assists, in the four games.

Costello captured the ECHL scoring title for the second straight season, posting 103 points (24g-79a) in 72 games. He ended the season on a 19-game assist streak, the second-longest streak in ECHL history. Eric Roy led ECHL rookie defensemen with seven power-play goals while David Makowski led all blueliners with seven game-winning goals.

Rob Linsmayer paced Idaho this season with 57 points (21g-36a) while Jefferson Dahl and Emil Molin shared the team lead with 21 goals each. Zach Yuen ranked fifth among defensemen with 18 power-play points (3g-15a).

Both teams ranked among the league leaders on the penalty kill with Idaho finishing the season second at 86.5 percent and Allen third at 86.4 percent.

Game 1 – Thursday, April 14 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen
Game 2 – Saturday, April 16 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen
Game 3 – Wednesday, April 20 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho
Game 4 – Friday, April 22 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho
Game 5 – Saturday, April 23 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, April 26 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, April 27 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen (If Necessary)