2017KellyCupPlayoffs

Division Semifinals Preview

North Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

 

#1 Adirondack Thunder (41-20-11) vs. #4 Manchester Monarchs (37-24-11)
Series Matchup Sheet

 

Adirondack and Manchester meet in the opening round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the second consecutive season. Last year, the Thunder prevailed 4 games to 1 in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

 

The Thunder finished the regular season on a 10-0-1 run to capture the North Division title. Peter MacArthur led Adirondack during the season with 63 points (24g-39a) while Brian Ward posted a team-leading 27 goals, which was tied for fifth among ECHL rookies. J.P. Anderson went 15-3-3 in 24 appearances for the Thunder and finished fourth in the league with a 2.47 goals-against average and tied for fourth with a .918 save percentage.

 

Matt Leitner led Manchester with 53 points (14g-39a) in 51 games and Joe Diamond posted a team-best 23 goals. Rookie goaltender Charles Williams, who joined the team late in the regular season, went 3-0-0 in his three appearances with a 2.33 goals-against average and a save percentage of .919.

 

Adirondack went 9-4-2 against the Monarchs during the regular season while Manchester posted a 6-8-1 record in the head-to-head series. MacArthur paced the Thunder with seven goals and 19 points while Mason McDonald went 6-2-1 with a 2.52 goals-against average against Manchester. Leitner had a team-best 18 points (4g-14a) and Zac Lynch tallied six goals. Sam Brittain appeared in eight games going 4-2-0 with a 3.25 goals-against average.

 

Game 1 – Friday, April 14 at 7 p.m. ET at Manchester
Game 2 – Saturday, April 15 at 6 p.m. ET at Manchester
Game 3 – Tuesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack
Game 4 – Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack
Game 5 – Saturday, April 22 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack (If Necessary)

 

#2 Reading Royals (41-25-6) vs. #3 Brampton Beast (40-24-8)
Series Matchup Sheet

 

Reading is in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the eighth consecutive season while Brampton is making its first-ever appearance in the ECHL postseason.

 

The Royals won their final four games of the regular season to secure home-ice advantage in the opening round. Olivier Labelle led Reading in the regular season with 27 goals while Robbie Czarnik had a team-best 63 points (24g-39a). Mark Dekanich posted a 21-12-4 record with a 3.04 goals-against average and a save percentage of .910 in 39 appearances.

 

Brampton’s David Pacan tied for the ECHL lead with 41 goals in the regular season and was sixth with 82 points, while David Vallorani, who was named to the All-ECHL Second Team, finished the season fifth in the league with 83 points (32g-51a). Zachary Fucale, who is currently recalled to St. John’s of the American Hockey League, was sixth in the ECHL with 25 wins.

 

The two clubs met three times in the regular season with Reading holding a 1-1-0 record and Brampton going 2-0-1. Matt Willows led the Royals with eight points (3g-5a) while Pacan paced the Beast with eight points as well (4g-4a).

 

Game 1 – Thursday, April 13 at 7 p.m. ET at Reading
Game 2 – Saturday, April 15 at 7 p.m. ET at Reading
Game 3 – Tuesday, April 18 at 7:15 p.m. at Brampton
Game 4 – Thursday, April 20 at 7:15 p.m. ET at Brampton
Game 5 – Saturday, April 22 at 8 p.m. ET at Brampton (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Monday, April 24 at 7 p.m. ET at Reading (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Tuesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. ET at Reading (If Necessary)

 

South Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

 

#1 Florida Everblades (45-19-8) vs. #4 Orlando Solar Bears (36-26-10)
Series Matchup Sheet

 

Sunshine State rivals Florida and Orlando meet in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the second time in the last three seasons. The Everblades defeated the Solar Bears 4 games to 2 in the 2015 South Division Semifinals.

 

Florida, which has advanced to the postseason in 18 of its 19 seasons, captured the South Division title for the second time in the last three years. Brendan O’Donnell, who earned a spot on the All-ECHL Second Team, finished tied for the league lead with 41 goals and Brant Harris was tied for fourth in the ECHL with 83 points (32g-51a). Anthony Peters finished the season third in the league with 31 wins.

 

Orlando returns to the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the third time in four seasons after not qualifying a season ago. The Solar Bears were led in the regular season by Eric Faille, who was 17th in the league with 70 points (27g-43a) in 57 games. In goal, Ryan Massa was 11th with a .912 save percentage  and tied for 19th with a 3.09 goals-against average.

 

The Everblades went 10-4-0 against Orlando in the regular-season series while the Solar Bears went 4-9-1. Harris led Florida with 18 points (5g-13a) while O’Donnell tallied nine goals in the season series. Joe Perry, who was tied for fourth overall in the league with 35 goals, led Orlando against the Everblades with six goals and 13 points.

 

Game 1 – Wednesday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida
Game 2 – Friday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida
Game 3 – Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. ET at Orlando
Game 4 – Saturday, April 22 at 7 p.m. ET at Orlando
Game 5 – Sunday, April 23 at 4 p.m. ET at Orlando (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)

 

#2 Greenville Swamp Rabbits (40-26-6) vs. #3 South Carolina Stingrays (40-28-4)
Series Matchup Sheet

Greenville returns to the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time since advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2014 while South Carolina has reached the postseason for the 10th straight season and for the 23rd time in its 24 ECHL seasons.

 

Brandon Alderson tallied a team-leading 26 goals for the Swamp Rabbits while Angelo Miceli led team with 77 points and finished fourth in the league with 55 assists.

 

Rob Flick led South Carolina with 31 goals and 63 points while Steven McParland was tied for 14th among ECHL rookies with 48 points (19g-29a).

 

Greenville went 5-7-2 against the Stingrays in the regular season while South Carolina went 9-2-3 against the Swamp Rabbits. Miceli had a team-best 12 points (2g-10a) in the season series while Tommy Thompson and Sprio Goulakos shared the Swamp Rabbits’ lead with four goals each. Kelly Zajac was the Stingrays’ top offensive performer in the head-to-head meetings with 16 points (4g-12a) while Flick posted a team-leading seven goals.

 

Game 1 – Thursday, April 13 at 7 p.m. ET at Greenville
Game 2 – Friday, April 14 at 7 p.m. ET at Greenville
Game 3 – Monday, April 17 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South Carolina
Game 4 – Tuesday, April 18 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South Carolina
Game 5 – Friday, April 21 at 7 p.m. ET at Greenville (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Monday, April 24 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South Carolina (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Tuesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. ET at Greenville (If Necessary)

 

Central Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

 

#1 Toledo Walleye (51-17-4) vs. #4 Kalamazoo Wings (38-30-4)
Series Matchup Sheet

 

Toledo enters the Kelly Cup Playoffs on the heels of its second Brabham Cup title as ECHL regular-season champions in the last three seasons while Kalamazoo has advanced to the postseason for the fourth consecutive season and for the seventh time in eight years.

 

Toledo captured the Central Division title after winning the North Division title the previous two seasons. The Walleye were led offensively by Tylor Spink, who posted 76 points (28g-48a) and his twin brother Tyson, who was named ECHL Rookie of the Year, with 75 points (33g-42a). Jake Paterson led the league with 34 wins, was tied for the league lead with seven shutouts and finished fourth with a 2.28 goals-against average. The Walleye became the first team in ECHL history to lead the league in goals per game (4.19), goals-against per game (2.65), power play (25.1 percent ) and penalty kill (86.8 percent) in the same season.

 

Justin Taylor led Kalamazoo during the regular season with 61 points (32g-29a) setting new career highs in goals and assists. Peter Schneider finished the campaign on a 14-game point streak and was second on the team with 55 points (21g-34a).

 

The Walleye went 6-3-1 against Kalamazoo during the regular season while the K-Wings posted a 4-5-1 mark in the season series. Evan Rankin led Toledo with 11 points (4g-7a) while Paterson, who was named to the All-ECHL Second Team, went 4-3-1 with a 2.36 goals-against average in eight appearances against the K-Wings. Kalamazoo was led in the season series by Taylor’s nine points (4g-5a). Nick Riopel saw action in three games against the Walleye, going 2-0-1 with a 1.95 goals-against average.

 

Game 1 – Friday, April 14 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo
Game 2 – Saturday, April 15 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo
Game 3 – Tuesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. ET at Kalamazoo
Game 4 – Wednesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. ET at Kalamazoo
Game 5 – Friday, April 21 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. ET at Kalamazoo (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Tuesday, April 25 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)

 

#2 Fort Wayne Komets (45-19-8) vs. #3 Quad City Mallards (40-28-4)
Series Matchup Sheet

 

Fort Wayne is making its fourth straight appearance in the Kelly Cup Playoffs while Quad City is in the postseason for the third consecutive season.

 

The Komets’ Mike Cazzola was tied for first among all ECHL rookies – and was tied for 11th overall in the league – with 76 points (30g-46a) in 67 games. In goal, Garrett Bartus was tied for eighth during the regular season with a 2.68 goals-against average while Pat Nagle appeared in 25 games posting a record of 15-3-4 with two shutouts, a 2.23 goals-against average and a save percentage of .916.

 

Quad City was led by Chris Francis (27g-33a) and Justin Kovacs (20g-40a) who each posted 60 points. Michael Parks paced the Mallards, and was third among ECHL rookies, with 29 goals. C.J. Motte, who represented Quad City at the 2017 ECHL All-Star Classic, was tied for sixth in the league with a .917 save percentage.

 

During the regular season, Fort Wayne went 8-2-2 against the Mallards while Quad City was 4-8-0 against the Komets. Kyle Thomas led Fort Wayne with six goals and Cazzola had a team-best 17 points (5g-12a). The Mallards were led by Sam Warning’s 10 points (3g-7a) while Kovacs and Parks sharing the team lead in the season series with four goals each.

 

Game 1 – Friday, April 14 at 8 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne
Game 2 – Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne
Game 3 – Wednesday, April 19 at 6:35 p.m. CT at Quad City
Game 4 – Friday, April 21 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Quad City
Game 5 – Saturday, April 22 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Quad City (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Monday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne (If Necessary)

 

Mountain Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

 

#1 Allen Americans (49-17-6) vs. #4 Utah Grizzlies (36-29-7)
Series Matchup Sheet

 

Allen enters the postseason having captured the previous two Kelly Cup champions, becoming the first ECHL team to repeat as playoff champions since Toledo in 1993 and 1994. The Americans are seeking to become the first team in ECHL history to reach three straight Finals. Utah is appearing in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the 10th straight season, tied for the second longest active streak in the league.

 

The Americans’ Chad Costello led the ECHL in scoring during the regular season for the third consecutive season with 122 points (33g-89a). Joel Chouinard paced the league with a +47 rating while fellow defenseman David Makowski was tied for sixth among blueliners with 50 points (16g-34a). Riley Gill, who is the ECHL all-time leader with 48 career playoff wins, led the league with a .935 save percentage, was tied for the league lead with seven shutouts and ranked second with 32 wins and a 2.22 goals-against average.

 

Erik Bradford led Utah in the regular season with 63 points (17g-46a) and Ralph Cuddemi posted a team-leading 27 goals, which was tied for fifth among ECHL rookies. Kevin Boyle, under contract with the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks, saw action in 16 games for the Grizzlies posting a record of 9-6-1 with a 2.73 goals-against average and a save percentage of .908.

 

Allen went 4-0-0 against the Grizzlies in the regular season while Utah was 0-2-2 agianst the Americans. Costello (4g-5a) and Greger Hanson (3g-6a) led the Americans with nine points each while Mathieu Aubin’s two goals and four points led the way for the Grizzlies.

 

Game 1 – Wednesday, April 12 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen
Game 2 – Friday, April 14 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen
Game 3 – Wednesday, April 19 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Utah
Game 4 – Friday, April 21 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Utah
Game 5 – Saturday, April 22 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Utah (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Monday, April 24 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Tuesday, April 25 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen (If Necessary)

 

#2 Colorado Eagles (47-20-5) vs. #3 Idaho Steelheads (43-22-7)
Series Matchup Sheet

 

Colorado and Idaho meet in the opening round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the third time in four season. The Steelheads prevailed 4 games to 2 in both the 2013 and 2014 Western Conference Quarterfinals. Game 6 of the 2014 series ranks as the longest game in ECHL history, checking in at 137:18.

 

The Eagles are in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the sixth straight season, and their 47 wins this season are the most since joining the ECHL in 2011-12. Casey Pierro-Zabotel led Colorado, and was second in the league, with 88 points (24g-64a) and Matt Garbowsky finished third in the ECHL with 36 goals. In goal, Clarke Saunders was fourth with 28 wins and sixth with a 2.60 goals-against average.

 

The Steelheads have advanced to the postseason in each of their 14 ECHL seasons, the longest active streak in the league and the second longest all-time. Anthony Luciani posted a team-leading 31 goals during the regular season while Jefferson Dahl led the club with 66 points (22g-44a). Landon Bow, who was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team last week, led the league with a 2.08 goals-against average while ranking second with a .933 save percentage.

 

During the regular season, Colorado went 5-5-1 against the Steelheads while Idaho was 6-4-1 against the Eagles. Pierro-Zabotel led Colorado with 11 points (4g-7a) while Dahl paced the Steelheads with 11 points (4g-7a) in the season series as well.

 

Game 1 – Friday, April 14 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado
Game 2 – Saturday, April 15 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado
Game 3 – Wednesday, April 19 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho
Game 4 – Friday, April 21 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho
Game 5 – Saturday, April 22 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, April 25 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, April 26 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado (If Necessary)