By Debbie Juniewicz
Dayton Daily News
Nine consecutive playoff appearances and a pair of Kelly Cup Finals — the Dayton Bombers face a tournament-tested Florida Everblades team on Tuesday in the ECHL’s American Conference Finals.
“They are a very good team and they’ve had success for a number of years,” Bombers coach Don MacAdam said of the Everblades. “But we also have a number of players who have had success at this level.”
Bombers forward Justin Maiser (pictured) played last season for the defending Kelly Cup champion Alaska Aces while goaltender Adam Berkhoel and defenseman Lane Manson played for the Kelly Cup runner-up Gwinnett Gladiators last year.
But the Bombers’ quest for the Kelly Cup has been on hiatus since the 2002 finals, when they fell to Greenville.
The finals, however, are still four wins away.
Florida leads the league in postseason penalty killing at 96.9 percent. They are second in goals scored, with 3.67 per game, and goals against at 2.11.
The Bombers are third with 2.20 goals against, but just ninth on the power play at 14.1 percent.
“We’ve got to do better on the power play, we’ve got to take advantage of those opportunities,” MacAdam said.
While getting to the conference finals was a significant feat, especially after trailing 3-1 in the division finals to Cincinnati, Dayton isn’t satisfied.
“Now that we’ve gone this far, let’s finish the job,” Bombers center Trevor Frischmon said.
Leading scorer Yannick Tifu agrees: “We’re at a point now where we’ve gone so far, we want to go all the way. But we need to show up against Florida if we’re going to do that.”