Preview of 2018 Division Finals

North Division Finals (Best of Seven)

#1 Adirondack Thunder vs. #2 Manchester Monarchs Series Matchup Sheet

For the third postseason in a row, the Adirondack Thunder and Manchester Monarchs will meet in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Adirondack took the first meeting, 4 games to 1, in the 2016 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals before Manchester prevailed last season, 4 games to 2, in the 2017 North Division Semifinals.

The Thunder defeated Worcester 4 games to 2 in the opening round. Brian Ward led Adirondack in the opening round with four goals and five points while Ryan Schmelzer is tied for third among rookies with three goals. Mackenzie Blackwood appeared in five of the six games against Worcester going 3-1 with a 1.00 goals-against average and a save percentage of .964.

Manchester defeated Reading 4 games to 0 in the North Division Semifinals, winning each of the first three games in overtime. The Monarchs joined Peoria (2000 Kelly Cup Finals) as the only teams to win three overtime games in a single series. Zac Lynch led Manchester with five points (2g-3a) and Sam Kurker scored a team-leading three goals. Charles Williams picked up all four wins in the opening round for the Monarchs, posting a shutout to go along with a 1.28 goals-against average and a save percentage of .955.

Adirondack went 8-4-1 against the Monarchs in the regular season while Manchester was 5-6-2 in the season series. Shane Conacher was the Thunder’s top offensive performer with six goals and 17 points while Matt Schmalz (8g-5a) and Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman (5g-8a) paced the Monarchs with 13 points each.

Game 1 – Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m. ET at AdirondackGame 2 – Saturday, April 28 at 7 p.m. ET at AdirondackGame 3 – Tuesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. ET at AdirondackGame 4 – Thursday, May 3 at 7 p.m. ET at AdirondackGame 5 – Sunday, May 6 at 6 p.m. ET at Manchester (If Necessary)Game 6 – Monday, May 7 at 7 p.m. ET at Manchester (If Necessary)Game 7 – Wednesday, May 9 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack (If Necessary)

South Division Finals (Best of Seven)

#1 Florida Everblades vs. #3 Orlando Solar Bears Series Matchup Sheet

Sunshine State rivals Florida and Orlando meet in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons. The Everblades were victorious in the previous two match-ups, winning 4 games to 2 in the 2015 South Division Semifinals and 4 games to 3 in the 2017 South Division Semifinals.

Florida is coming off a 4 games to 0 victory over Atlanta in the South Division Semifinals. The Everblades were led in the series by Michael Kirkpatrick, whose seven points (4g-3a) are tied for fourth in the playoffs. Martin Ouellette went 3-0, allowing just five goals in his three appearances.

Orlando eliminated South Carolina 4 games to 0 in the opening round. The Solar Bears finished the regular season with 29 fewer points than the Stingrays, making it in the ninth biggest upset in ECHL postseason history. The two teams combined for 11 goals in the series, tying the second fewest goals scored in a four-game series in league history. Hunter Fejes (2g-1a), J.J. Piccinich (2g-1a) and Joe Perry (1g-2a) all posted three points to lead the Solar Bears in the first round while Cal Heeter leads all goaltenders in the postseason with a 0.66 goals-against average and a .980 save percentage.

During the regular season, Florida went 10-4-0 against the Solar Bears while Orlando was 4-7-3 against the Everblades. Stephen MacAulay led the Everblades with seven goals and 17 points while Ouellette went 8-0-0 in nine appearances against Orlando with a 1.82 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage. Orlando was led by Max Novak, who tallied 14 points (4g-10a) in the head-to-head meetings.

Game 1 – Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET at FloridaGame 2 – Saturday, April 28 at 7 p.m. ET at FloridaGame 3 – Thursday, May 3 at 7 p.m. ET at OrlandoGame 4 – Friday, May 4 at 7 p.m. ET at OrlandoGame 5 – Sunday, May 6 at 1:30 p.m. ET at Orlando (If Necessary)Game 6 – Tuesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)Game 7 – Wednesday, May 9 at 7 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)

Central Division Finals (Best of Seven)

#1 Toledo Walleye vs. #2 Fort Wayne Komets Series Matchup Sheet

For the third time in four years, Toledo and Fort Wayne square off in the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Walleye defeated the Komets 4 games to 3 in the 2015 North Division Finals and 4 games to 1 in the 2017 Central Division Finals.

Toledo advanced to the division finals after defeating Indy 4 games to 0 in the Central Division Semifinals. Kyle Bonis (3g-5a) and Tyler Barnes (1g-7a) shared the Walleye lead in the series with eight points each, and are tied for second overall in postseason scoring through one round. In goal, Pat Nagle went 4-0 against the Fuel with a 1.79 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage.

Fort Wayne is the only team to have reached the second round of the playoffs in each of the last five seasons. The Komets eliminated Cincinnati 4 games to 1 in the Central Division Semifinals. Gabriel Desjardins led Fort Wayne in the opening round with nine points (2g-7a), which leads all players in the postseason, while Phelix Martineau is tied for first among rookies with seven points (4g-3a). Michael Houser played the third-most minutes among goaltenders in the opening round with 327 to go along with a 2.56 goals-against average.

The Walleye went 2-5-1 against Fort Wayne in the regular season while the Komets were 6-2-0 against Toledo. Bonis led Toledo with four goals and Barnes had a team-high nine points (1g-8a) in the season series. ECHL Most Valuable Player Shawn Szydlowski was Fort Wayne’s top performer in the head-to-head series with 11 points (7g-4a) in seven games.

Game 1 – Saturday, April 28 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo Game 2 – Sunday, April 29 at 5:15 p.m. ET at Toledo Game 3 – Wednesday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne Game 4 – Friday, May 4 at 8 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne Game 5 – Saturday, May 5 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary) Game 6 – Tuesday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne (If Necessary) Game 7 – Wednesday, May 9 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)

Mountain Division Finals (Best of Seven)

#1 Colorado Eagles vs. #2 Idaho Steelheads

Series Matchup Sheet

The defending Kelly Cup champion Colorado Eagles take on the Idaho Steelheads for the second consecutive postseason and for the fourth time in the last six years. Colorado prevailed in last year’s Mountain Division Semifinals 4 games to 1 while Idaho was victorious 4 games to 2 in both the 2013 and 2014 Western Conference Quarterfinals.

Colorado defeated Wichita 4 games to 2 in the opening round, including a 3-0 record on the road. J.C. Beaudin (4g-3a), Michael Joly (2g-5a) and Matt Register (0g-7a) led the Eagles against the Thunder with seven points each while Joe Cannata picked up all four wins in goal.

Idaho became just the second team in ECHL postseason history, joining the 2010 Cincinnati Cyclones, to come back from an 0-3 deficit and win a series when they defeated Allen in seven games in the Mountain Division Semifinals. Cole Ully had a team-leading seven points (1g-6a) and Philippe Desrosiers went 4-1 with a 1.84 goals-against average and a save percentage of .943.

During the regular season, Colorado was 5-5-2 against the Steelheads while Idaho went 7-4-1 against the Eagles. Joly paced the Eagles with nine goals and 14 points while Idaho was led by Steven McParland’s eight goals and 14 points.

Game 1 – Saturday, April 28 at 7:05 p.m. MT at ColoradoGame 2 – Sunday, April 29 at 7:05 p.m. MT at ColoradoGame 3 – Wednesday, May 2 at 7:10 p.m. MT at IdahoGame 4 – Thursday, May 3 at 7:10 p.m. MT at IdahoGame 5 – Saturday, May 5 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)Game 6 – Monday, May 7 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado (If Necessary)Game 7 – Wednesday, May 9 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Colorado (If Necessary)

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Click here to see the complete schedule for the Division Semifinals of the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs, and click here to view the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs bracket

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