Division Semifinals Preview

North Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

#1 Adirondack Thunder (41-24-7) vs. #4 Worcester Railers (37-26-8)Series Matchup Sheet

Adirondack returns to the postseason for the third consecutive season after capturing the North Division regular-season title for the second season in a row while Worcester enters the Kelly Cup Playoffs in its first season of existence.

The Thunder went 7-3-0 over their last 10 games to overtake Manchester for the division crown. Shane Conacher led Adirondack, and was tied for 15th in the ECHL, with 63 points (20g-43a) during the regular season. Desmond Bergin provided an offensive punch from the blue line, as he was tied for fourth among defensemen with 15 goals and tied for eighth with 43 points.

Worcester comes into the Kelly Cup Playoffs on the heels of a 22-8-3 run over their final 34 games to qualify for the postseason. Barry Almeida, who won a Kelly Cup title with Reading in 2013, led the Railers in the regular season with 22 goals and 61 points. Mitch Gillam, who was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team, was fourth among ECHL goaltenders with a 2.15 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage during the regular season.

Adirondack went 4-5-3 against the Railers in the regular season while Worcester was 8-2-2 against the Thunder. Conor Riley led Adirondack in the season series with four goals, and was tied with Bergin for the team lead with seven points while Woody Hudson led Worcester against the Thunder with nine points (4g-5a).

Game 1 – Friday, April 13 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack Game 2 – Saturday, April 14 at 7 p.m. ET at Worcester Game 3 – Sunday, April 15 at 5 p.m. ET at Worcester Game 4 – Wednesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack Game 5 – Saturday, April 21 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack (If Necessary) Game 6 – Monday, April 23 at 7 p.m. ET at Worcester (If Necessary) Game 7 – Wednesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack (If Necessary)

#2 Manchester Monarchs (41-25-6) vs. #3 Reading Royals (39-24-9) Series Matchup Sheet

Manchester makes its third straight appearance in the Kelly Cup Playoffs after advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals last season while Reading has reached the postseason for the ninth consecutive year.

The Monarchs were one of the top offensive teams in the ECHL during the regular season, finishing fourth with 3.57 goals per game. Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman, who earned a spot on the All-ECHL First Team, was third in the league with 34 goals and fourth with 72 points. Charles Williams ranked fourth among rookie goaltenders, and 12th overall in the league, with a 2.68 goals-against average.

While Manchester possessed solid offensive numbers, Reading was sixth in the league on the defensive side, allowing 2.76 goals-against per game. John Muse was tied for the league lead with a .931 save percentage while finishing seventh with a 2.24 goals-against average. All-ECHL Second Team honoree Matt Willows was third in the league with 74 points (32g-42a) while fellow second-team member Nolan Zajac was third among defensemen with 16 goals.

The Monarchs went 4-3-2 against Reading in the regular season while the Royals were 5-4-0 against Manchester. LaVallee-Smotherman was Manchester’s top scorer with nine goals and 11 points while Michael Huntebrinker (4g-4a) and Matt Wilkins (4g-4a) paced Reading with eight points each.

Game 1 – Friday, April 13 at 7 p.m. ET at ManchesterGame 2 – Saturday, April 14 at 6 p.m. ET at ManchesterGame 3 – Monday, April 16 at 7 p.m. ET at ReadingGame 4 – Wednesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. ET at ReadingGame 5 – Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m. ET at Reading (If Necessary)Game 6 – Saturday, April 21 at 6 p.m. ET at Manchester (If Necessary)Game 7 – Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. ET at Manchester (If Necessary)

South Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

#1 Florida Everblades (53-13-6) vs. #4 Atlanta Gladiators (32-35-5) Series Matchup Sheet

Florida and Atlanta meet in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the third time, but for the first time in nine years. The Everblades were victorious 4 games to 1 in the 2009 South Division Semifinals while the Gladiators prevailed 3 games to 1 in the 2006 South Division Semifinals.

Florida, which captured the Brabham Cup as regular-season champions, has advanced to the postseason in 19 of its 20 seasons and won the South Division title for the third time in the last four years. The Everblades featured two of the top scorers in the league during the regular season as Mitchell Heard finished tied for 10th with 67 points (25g-42a) and Stephen MacAulay was 11th with 65 points (28g-37a). In goal, Martin Ouellette was second in the league with a 2.02 goals-against average and 33 wins.

Atlanta returns to the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2013. Gladiators’ head coach Chuck Weber is no stranger to postseason success, as he enters the Kelly Cup Playoffs tied for fifth in ECHL history with 45 playoff wins. Weber led Cincinnati to Kelly Cup titles in 2008 and 2010. Phil Lane (32g-25a) and Lindsay Sparks (16g-41a) shared the Gladiators’ team lead in the regular season with 57 points each.

The Everblades went 10-0-0 against Atlanta this season while the Gladiators were 0-9-1 in the season series. MacAulay led Florida with seven goals and 14 points while Callum Booth went 4-0-0 with a 1.75 goals-against average. Lane was Atlanta’s top scorer in the season series with eight points (4g-4a) in nine games against the Everblades.

Game 1 – Monday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida Game 2 – Tuesday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida Game 3 – Thursday, April 19 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Atlanta Game 4 – Friday, April 20 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Atlanta Game 5 – Sunday, April 22 at 2:05 p.m. ET at Atlanta (If Necessary) Game 6 – Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary) Game 7 – Wednesday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)

#2 South Carolina Stingrays (48-16-8) vs. #3 Orlando Solar Bears (33-30-9) Series Matchup Sheet South Carolina enters the postseason for the 11th consecutive season and the 24th time in its 25 ECHL seasons while Orlando has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs four times in the last five years.

The Stingrays’ enjoyed one of the best defensive seasons in the ECHL’s 30-year history, setting league records for fewest goals allowed (153), best goals-against per game (2.13) and fewest power-play goals allowed (27). Parker Milner led the ECHL in the regular season with a 1.86 goals-against average, which is the fourth best in a single season in league history.

Orlando’s Hunter Fejes was tied for 13th in the league with 30 goals during the regular season while Joshua Winquist was tied for sixth with 22 power-play points (6g-16a). Cal Heeter ranked eighth among league goaltenders with 2,368 minutes played.

South Carolina went 7-3-1 against the Solar Bears during the regular season while Orlando posted a 4-5-2 mark against the Stingrays. Kelly Zajac and Paul Geiger led the Stingrays with four goals, with Zajac posting a team-best eight points. Max Novak led Orlando with five goals in 10 games against the Stingrays.

Game 1 – Thursday, April 12 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South CarolinaGame 2 – Saturday, April 14 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South CarolinaGame 3 – Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m. ET at OrlandoGame 4 – Saturday, April 21 at 7 p.m. ET at OrlandoGame 5 – Sunday, April 22 at 6 p.m. ET at Orlando (If Necessary)Game 6 – Tuesday, April 24 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South Carolina (If Necessary)Game 7 – Wednesday, April 25 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South Carolina (If Necessary)

Central Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

#1 Toledo Walleye (50-17-5) vs. #4 Indy Fuel (36-30-6) Series Matchup Sheet

Toledo enters the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the fourth straight season on the heels of its fourth consecutive division title while Indy reaches the postseason for the first time in its fourth year of existence.

Toledo went 50-17-5 during the regular season, winning at least 50 games for the third time in four seasons. Kyle Bonis scored 27 goals to lead the Walleye while Tyler Barnes recorded a team-leading 53 points (20g-33a). All-ECHL Second Team goaltender Pat Nagle led the league with 37 wins in the regular season, tied for the second most in a single-season in ECHL history.

Indy went 9-2-3 over its last 15 games and defeated Kalamazoo 2-1 on the final day of the regular season to clinch its first-ever Kelly Cup Playoffs appearance. Josh Shalla led the Fuel with 28 goals while Michael Neal was tops on the team with 52 points (20g-32a).

During the regular season, Toledo went 8-1-0 against the Fuel while Indy was 1-6-2. Bonis paced the Walleye in the season series with 11 points (4g-7a) while Matt Rupert’s nine points (3g-6a) led Indy.

Game 1 – Friday, April 13 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo Game 2 – Sunday, April 15 at 5:15 p.m. ET at Toledo Game 3 – Wednesday, April 18 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Indy Game 4 – Thursday, April 19 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Indy Game 5 – Saturday, April 21 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Indy (If Necessary) Game 6 – Tuesday, April 24 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary) Game 7 – Wednesday, April 25 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)

#2 Fort Wayne Komets (46-20-6) vs. #3 Cincinnati Cyclones (39-30-3) Series Matchup Sheet

Fort Wayne and Cincinnati are meeting in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the third time in the last five years. The Komets defeated the Cyclones 4 games to 3 in the 2016 Western Conference Quarterfinals while the Cyclones prevailed 4 games to 2 in the 2014 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Komets led the ECHL in the regular season with 4.03 goals per game and had the league’s leading scorer, Shawn Szydlowski, who posted 79 points (31g-48a) in 64 games. Former Cyclones’ goaltender Michael Houser had a strong season in net for Fort Wayne, and was tied for third in the league with 28 wins.

Cincinnati is led by All-ECHL Second Team honoree Jesse Schultz, who had a league-leading 57 assists while ranking second with 75 points. ECHL Rookie of the Year Justin Danforth was third among rookies with 28 goals and 59 points in just 44 games while Justin Vaive was tied for third in the league with 12 power-play goals.

The Komets went 4-3-2 against Cincinnati while the Cyclones were 5-4-0 against Fort Wayne. Szydlowski was Fort Wayne’s top offensive performer in the season series with 12 points (4g-8a) while Schultz paced Cincinnati with 10 points (3g-7a).

Game 1 – Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne Game 2 – Sunday, April 15 at 6 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne Game 3 – Thursday, April 19 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati Game 4 – Saturday, April 21 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati Game 5 – Sunday, April 22 at 3:05 p.m. ET at Cincinnati (If Necessary) Game 6 – Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne (If Necessary) Game 7 – Wednesday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne (If Necessary)

Mountain Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

#1 Colorado Eagles (48-18-6) vs. #4 Wichita Thunder (34-30-8) Series Matchup Sheet

The defending Kelly Cup champion Colorado Eagles are in the postseason for the seventh straight season while the Wichita Thunder earned their first berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

Colorado picked up where it left off last season, finishing the regular season with a 48-18-6 record. Despite playing just 52 ECHL games, Michael Joly led the league with 41 goals and was tied for eighth with 67 points. Joe Cannata ranked eighth in the league with a 2.22 goals-against average to go along with a 21-5-2 record.

Wichita was led during the regular season by Ralph Cuddemi, who tallied 64 points (33g-31a) in 69 games. Shane Starrett, who represented the Thunder at the 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, was sixth among rookie goaltenders with a 3.01 goals-against average.

The Eagles went 5-1-0 against Wichita in the regular season while the Thunder were 1-4-1 against Colorado. Ryan Olsen and Brady Shaw led Colorado with four goals each while Joly (2g-5a) and Drayson Bowman (2g-5a) shared the team lead with seven points apiece. Cuddemi led Wichita with six goals in his six games against the Eagles.

Game 1 – Sunday, April 15 at 4:05 p.m. CT at Wichita Game 2 – Monday, April 16 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Wichita Game 3 – Wednesday, April 18 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado Game 4 – Friday, April 20 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado Game 5 – Saturday, April 21 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado (If Necessary) Game 6 – Monday, April 23 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Wichita (If Necessary) Game 7 – Wednesday, April 25 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado (If Necessary)

#2 Idaho Steelheads (44-20-8) vs. #3 Allen Americans (35-29-8)

Series Matchup Sheet

For the second time in three seasons, Idaho will meet Allen in the opening round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Americans took the previous meeting, 4 games to 3, in the 2016 Western Conference Quarterfinals.

Idaho ended the regular season on a roll, going 11-1-2 over its final 14 games. Jefferson Dahl topped the team’s scoring chart with 61 points (20g-41a) in 61 games while Justin Parizek was second among rookies with 60 points and fourth with 27 goals. Late-season acquisition Tomas Sholl was solid in goal for the Steelheads, going 9-0-2 in 11 appearances with four shutouts, a 1.24 goals-against average and a save percentage of .953.

Allen’s Casey Pierro-Zabotel finished second in the league in the regular season with 50 assists and was sixth with 69 points. David Makowski, an All-ECHL First Team selection, was second among defensemen with 54 points (11g-43a) while fellow blueliner Joel Chouinard was fourth with 51 points (12g-39a).

The two teams met 10 times in the regular season with Idaho going 5-3-2 and Allen posting a 5-4-1 record. Parizek led the Steelheads with six goals while Dahl had a team-leading 11 points (3g-8a). Chouinard led the Americans in the head-to-head series with 10 points (0g-10a).

Game 1 – Friday, April 13 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho Game 2 – Saturday, April 14 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho Game 3 – Wednesday, April 18 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen Game 4 – Friday, April 20 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen Game 5 – Sunday, April 22 at 6:05 p.m. CT at Allen (If Necessary) Game 6 – Tuesday, April 24 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary) Game 7 – Wednesday, April 25 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)

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