Eastern Conference Finals Preview

Florida Everblades vs. Adirondack ThunderSeries Matchup Sheet

Two of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference during the regular season meet with a spot in the Kelly Cup Finals up for grabs. Florida captured the Brabham Cup as ECHL regular-season champions with a 53-13-6 record for 112 points while Adirondack was third in the conference with a record of 41-24-7 for 89 points.

Florida is making its fifth-ever appearance in the Conference Finals, and its first since 2012 when the Everblades went on to capture the Kelly Cup title in five games over Las Vegas. The Everblades defeated Atlanta 4 games to 0 in the South Division Semifinals and Orlando 4 games to 1 in the South Division Finals. Florida leads the postseason in both goals per game (4.00) and goals-against per game (1.89) through two rounds. The Everblades are 4-0 at home in the playoffs, and have outscored their opponents 16-5.

Michael Kirkpatrick leads the Everblades, and is second overall in the postseason, with seven goals while Mitchell Heard has posted a team-best 13 points (4g-9a), which also ranks second through two rounds. Zack Kamrass is tied for first among defensemen with 10 points (1g-9a) and Martin Ouellette ranks second with a 1.42 goals-against average and third with a .947 save percentage.

Adirondack has reached the Kelly Cup Playoffs in each of its three seasons in the ECHL, and is appearing in the Conference Finals for the first time. The Thunder have won a pair of six-game series in the first two rounds, defeating Worcester in the North Division Semifinals and Manchester in the North Division Finals. Adirondack has fared well on the road in the postseason, posting a 4-1 record away from home, including a triple overtime win at Manchester to clinch the second round series in the ninth-longest game in ECHL history.

Ryan Schmelzer is second among rookies, and tied for third overall in the postseason, with six goals, while James Henry’s 12 assists are tops among all players in the playoffs. Colton White is third among defensemen with eight points (2g-6a) and Drew Fielding ranks second among goaltenders with a .955 save percentage and fourth with a 1.55 goals-against average.

Adirondack went 2-0-1 against the Everblades in the regular season while Florida was 1-1-1 against the Thunder. Brian Ward led Adirondack with four goals and seven points while Fielding appeared in all three games posting a 3.25 goals-against average. Florida was led by Justin Kea and Steven Lorentz, who both scored two goals in the three games against the Thunder.

The winner of the Eastern Conference Finals receives the E.A. “Bud” Gingher Memorial 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 – Friday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida Game 2 – Saturday, May 12 at 7 p.m. ET at Florida Game 3 – Wednesday, May 16 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack Game 4 – Friday, May 18 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack Game 5 – Saturday, May 19 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack (If Necessary) Game 6 – Monday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary) Game 7 – Wednesday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida (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