Eastern Conference Finals Preview

Eastern Conference Finals (Best of Seven)

#5 Cincinnati Cyclones vs. #7 Greenville Road Warriors
Series Matchup Sheet

Cincinnati and Greenville meet in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time in the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals.

The Cyclones are appearing in the Conference Finals for the second straight season and for the fifth time in the last seven years. Cincinnati has advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals twice – 2008 and 2010 – winning the championship on both occasions.

While Greenville has reached the postseason for four straight seasons, this is the Road Warriors’ first-ever appearance in the Conference Finals.

Cincinnati has reached this point with a pair of 4 games to 2 victories, defeating Orlando in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals and Fort Wayne in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Cyclones have gotten this far based on solid play away from home. After leading the ECHL during the regular season with a 24-9-3 road record, the Cyclones have carried that strong play over to the postseason, going 5-1 on the road in the first two series. Rookie Wade Megan leads all players in the Kelly Cup Playoffs with seven goals while Byron Froese ranks second in the league with 15 points (5g-10a). Josh McFadden has added offense from the blue line, ranking third among defensemen in the playoffs with six points (0g-6a). In goal, Rob Madore has appeared in all 12 games for the Cyclones, posting an 8-4 record, and he is tied for sixth with a 1.89 goals-against average, while leading all goaltenders in the postseason with 762 minutes played and 366 saves. Through two rounds, the Cyclones are tied for third in goals per game (3.00) while ranking third in goals-against per game (2.08).

Greenville has also won a pair of six-game series to reach the Conference Finals. The Road Warriors knocked off Kalamazoo in the Conference Quarterfinals before eliminating Wheeling in the Conference Semifinals. Greenville has also enjoyed success on the road in the playoffs posting a 5-1 record away from home, including four straight wins. Andrew Rowe, who was named to the All-ECHL Second Team this season, ranks third in the postseason with 12 points (4g-8a) while Michael St. Croix leads all rookies in the playoffs with 11 points (4g-7a). Jason Missiaen has seen the bulk of playing time in goal for Greenville, playing in 10 of the 12 games, and has posted a record of 7-3 with one shutout, a 1.85 goals-against average and a save percentage of .945. This series marks a homecoming of sorts for Road Warriors’ head coach Dean Stork, who spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the Cyclones, and was on the staff for both of the club’s Kelly Cup titles.

The two teams met only twice in the regular season, with the home team winning both meetings. Cincinnati captured a 2-1 shootout win on Nov. 15 while Greenville recorded a 5-3 victory on Feb. 24.

The winner of the Eastern Conference Finals receives the E.A. “Bud” Gingher Memorial Trophy. Trophy. The trophy is named in recognition of E.A. “Bud” Gingher, who was Chairman of the ECHL Board of Governors from 1992-95. Gingher, who passed away in 2002, co-founded the Dayton Bombers in 1991 and owned the team for seven seasons, serving as President and Governor until selling the team in 1998. Gingher was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2009.

Game 1 – Monday, May 19 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati
Game 2 – Tuesday, May 20 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati
Game 3 – Thursday, May 22 at 7 p.m. ET at Greenville
Game 4 – Saturday, May 24 at 7 p.m. ET at Greenville
Game 5 – Sunday, May 25 at 3 p.m. ET at Greenville (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, May 27 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, May 28 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati (If Necessary)