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Conference Semifinals Preview


Western Conference Semifinals (Best of Seven)

#1 Alaska Aces vs. #4 Idaho Steelheads
Series Matchup Sheet


Alaska and Idaho meet in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the fifth time, with each club winning twice previously. The Aces prevailed 4 games to 0 in both the 2008 National Conference Quarterfinals and the 2011 Western Conference Semifinals while the Steelheads won 3 games to 1 in the 2004 West Division Finals and 4 games to 1 in the 2007 National Conference Finals.

The Aces, who are in the second round of the playoffs for the 10th time in 11 ECHL seasons, knocked off Las Vegas 4 games to 0 in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Nick Mazzolini led Alaska in the series with 10 points (2g-8a), which is tops among all players in the postseason, while Peter Sivak is tied for the postseason lead with five goals.

Idaho eliminated Colorado 4 games to 2 in the first round for the second straight season. The Steelheads won the clinching game at 17:18 of the fourth overtime, making it the longest game in the ECHL’s 26-year history. David de Kastrozza, who scored the series-winning goal, paced Idaho against the Eagles with four goals and six points. Josh Robinson, who tied the ECHL postseason record with 83 saves in the Game 6 win, went 3-2 in the opening round with a 1.44 goals-against average and a save percentage of .959

The two teams met 12 times during the 2013-14 regular season with Alaska going 6-3-3 against the Steelheads and Idaho going 6-5-1 against the Aces. Seven of the last eight meetings between the teams were decided by one goal, with four of those ending in either overtime or a shootout. Mazzolini was the Aces’ leading scorer in the season series with 13 points (5g-8a) in 12 games while Brett Robinson led all Steelheads with 15 points (2g-13a).

Game 1 – Thursday, May 1 at 7:15 p.m. AKT at Alaska
Game 2 – Friday, May 2 at 7:15 p.m. AKT at Alaska
Game 3 – Monday, May 5 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho
Game 4 – Wednesday, May 7 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho
Game 5 – Thursday, May 8 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Saturday, May 10 at 7:15 p.m. AKT at Alaska (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Sunday, May 11 at 7:15 p.m. AKT at Alaska (If Necessary)

#6 Bakersfield Condors vs. #7 Stockton Thunder
Series Matchup Sheet

Bakersfield and Stockton meet for the second time in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Thunder prevailed 4 games to 1 in the 2010 National Conference Semifinals in their only previous postseason meeting.

The Condors, who are in the second round for the first time since 2010, eliminated Utah 4 games to 1 in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Four of the five games in the series, and three of Bakersfield’s four wins, came by just one goal. Andrew Carroll, who tallied a pair of game-winning goals in the series, led Bakersfield with five points (2g-3a) while goaltender Laurent Brossoit added to his eight regular-season shutouts with a pair of shutouts against the Grizzlies.

The defending Western Conference champion Thunder swept Ontario 4 games to 0 in the Western Conference Quarterfinals and are appearing in the second round for the third straight season and for the fifth time in the last six years. Jeremy Langlois led Stockton in the first round with nine points (4g-5a), which ranks second among all players in the postseason, while Joey Martin is right behind him with eight points (4g-4a).

During the 2013-14 regular season, Bakersfield was 6-4-1 against the Thunder while Stockton went 5-4-2 against the Condors. Chase Schaber was the Condors’ leading scorer in the season series with six goals and 14 points while Brossoit was the club’s top goaltender going 4-0-0 with a 1.23 goals-against average and a .957 save percentage in four appearances against Stockton. Martin led the Thunder against Bakersfield this season with 12 points (4g-8a) in 10 games. In goal, Brian Foster started 10 of the 11 games in the season series, posting a 5-4-1 record.

Game 1 – Friday, May 2 at 7 p.m. PT at Bakersfield
Game 2 – Saturday, May 3 at 7 p.m. PT at Bakersfield
Game 3 – Wednesday, May 7 at 7 p.m. PT at Stockton
Game 4 – Friday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. PT at Stockton
Game 5 – Saturday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. PT at Stockton (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, May 13 at 7 p.m. PT at Bakersfield (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, May 14 at 7 p.m. PT at Bakersfield (If Necessary)

Eastern Conference Semifinals (Best of Seven)

#5 Cincinnati Cyclones vs. #8 Fort Wayne Komets
Series Matchup Sheet

North Division rivals Cincinnati and Fort Wayne meet in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time.

The Cyclones are in the second round for the sixth time in the last eight years and are coming off of a 4 games to 2 win over Orlando in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Byron Froese led the Cyclones in the opening round with five goals and seven points while Wade Megan is tied for the lead among rookies in the postseason with four goals, including a pair of game-winning tallies.

Fort Wayne upset the defending Kelly Cup champion Reading Royals in the first round, becoming the first eight seed to defeat a one seed since 2005. Shawn Szydlowski led the Komets in the series with six points (2g-4a) while goaltender Ben Meisner ranks second in the postseason with a .963 save percentage and third with a 1.10 goals-against average.

During their eight head-to-head meetings in the regular season, the road team enjoyed success with the Cyclones going 3-0-1 at Fort Wayne and the Komets winning all four games in Cincinnati. Overall, Cincinnati went 3-4-1 in the season series while Fort Wayne went 5-1-2. Josh Birkholz led Cincinnati against the Komets with three goals and five points while Brandon Marino, who led the ECHL in scoring in the regular season, paced Fort Wayne in the season series with 13 points (6g-7a).

Game 1 – Friday, May 2 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati
Game 2 – Saturday, May 3 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati
Game 3 – Thursday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne
Game 4 – Saturday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne
Game 5 – Sunday, May 11 at 6 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, May 13 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, May 14 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati (If Necessary)

#6 Wheeling Nailers vs. #7 Greenville Road Warriors
Series Matchup Sheet

Wheeling and Greenville meet for the second time in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Nailers won the previous meeting 4 games to 3 in the 2011 Eastern Conference Semifinals, winning Game 7 4-3 in overtime.

The Nailers swept South Carolina 4 games to 0 in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals with Mike Condon posting shutouts in two of the four wins. Dating back to the regular season, Condon has recorded six shutouts in his last 10 games, allowing a total of just nine goals over that span. Max MacKay led Wheeling offensively in the opening round with six points (2g-4a).

Greenville has advanced to the second round for the first time since 2011 by virtue of a 4 games to 2 win over Kalamazoo in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Three of the Road Warriors’ four wins in the first round came by one goal, with two wins coming in overtime. Andrew Rowe led Greenville in the series with six points (3g-3a).

The two clubs met three times in the regular season with Wheeling going 2-1-0 against the Road Warriors and Greenville posting a 1-2-0 record against the Nailers. Cody Sylvester led Wheeling in the season series with three goals and four points while Marc-Olivier Vallerand (3g-0a) and Mike Marcou (0g-3a) led the Road Warriors with three points each.

Game 1 – Saturday, May 3 at 7 p.m. ET at Wheeling
Game 2 – Sunday, May 4 at 6 p.m. ET at Wheeling
Game 3 – Tuesday, May 6 at 7 p.m. ET at Greenville
Game 4 – Thursday, May 8 at 7 p.m. ET at Greenville
Game 5 – Friday, May 9 at 7 p.m. ET at Greenville (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Monday, May 12 at 7 p.m. ET at Wheeling (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, May 14 at 7 ET at Wheeling (If Necessary)