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Conference Semifinals Preview

Monday, June 7th
2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs bracket
Eastern Conference Semifinals (Best of Five) 

#1 Florida Everblades (42-19-8) vs. #4 South Carolina Stingrays (34-23-13)Series Matchup Sheet

Florida and South Carolina are meeting in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the seventh time, with each team winning three times previously. The Everblades won the first three meetings while the Stingrays have won the last three, with the last series coming in the 2017 South Division Finals.

Both teams have reached the postseason in all but one season since joining the ECHL, with South Carolina appearing in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the 13th consecutive season, tied for the third-longest streak in ECHL history.

Florida captured the Brabham Cup as ECHL regular-season champions for the fourth time in club history, going 42-19-8, including a 25-6-5 mark at home, which was the second-most home wins in the league. John McCarron, who was named to the All-ECHL First Team, led the league with 31 goals and a +29 rating, while leading the Everblades with 68 points, which was tied for third in the league. Fellow All-ECHL First Team selection Jake Hildebrand was tied for the league lead with 23 wins, was third with a .923 save percentage and fourth with a 2.40 goals-against average.

South Carolina earned its postseason spot on the heels of a 10-3-0 run, including six-game winning streak to wrap up the regular season, over which the Stingrays outscored their opponents 23-8. All-ECHL Second Team selection Cole Ully led the Stingrays, and was tied for ninth in the league, with 60 points (24g-36a) while Dan DeSalvo was tied for 12th in the ECHL with 54 points (16g-38a).

Florida went 10-1-2 against the Stingrays in the regular season while South Carolina posted a 3-7-3 mark against the Everblades. The Everblades’ Alex Kile tallied a team-high nine goals in the regular season against South Carolina with McCarron posted a team-best 18 points (5g-13a). Hildebrand went 8-0-2 with a 2.13 goals-against average in 10 appearances. South Carolina was led by Brett Supinski, who recorded 12 points (5g-7a) 

Game 1 – Monday, June 7 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South CarolinaGame 2 – Wednesday, June 9 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South CarolinaGame 3 – Saturday, June 12 at 7 p.m. ET at FloridaGame 4 – Sunday, June 13 at 6 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)Game 5 – Monday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary) 

#2 Greenville Swamp Rabbits (38-19-15) vs. #3 Indy Fuel (37-24-8)Series Matchup Sheet

Greenville returns to the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2017 while Indy is appearing in the postseason for the second time since joining the ECHL in 2014-15.

Greenville was led in the regular season by Matt Bradley with 21 goals and 47 points. All-ECHL First Team selection Samuel Jardine was fifth among ECHL defensemen with 44 points (3g-41a) while Ryan Bednard was tied for third in the league with 20 wins and finished fifth with a 2.43 goals-against average.

Indy was paced by Matt Marcinew’s 48 points (23g-25a) while Nic Pierog led the Fuel with 24 goals. From the blue line, Willie Raskob was second among ECHL defensemen with 13 goals and sixth with 48 points, while in goal, Dan Bakala was tied for fifth with 18 wins.

The Fuel went 4-1-0 in the regular season against Greenville while the Swamp Rabbits went 1-2-2 against Indy. Marcinew led Indy in the season series with four goals and nine points while Bakala went 2-0-0 with a 0.99 goals-against average. Greenville was led by Garrett Thompson’s four points (0g-4a).

Game 1 – Tuesday, June 8 at 7:05 p.m. ET at IndyGame 2 – Thursday, June 10 at 7:05 p.m. ET at GreenvilleGame 3 – Friday, June 11 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Greenville Game 4 – Saturday, June 12 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Greenville (If Necessary)Game 5 – Monday, June 14 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Indy (If Necessary) 

Western Conference Semifinals (Best of Five)

#1 Allen Americans (45-23-4) vs. #4 Utah Grizzlies (35-26-11)Series Matchup Sheet

Allen, which captured back-to-back Kelly Cup titles in 2015 and 2016, returns to the playoffs for the first time since 2018, while Utah is appearing in the postseason for the 13th time since joining the ECHL in 2005-06.

The Americans earned the top seed in the Western Conference thanks to a season-ending six-game winning streak to finish 45-23-4, including a league-leading 26 home wins on the season. All-ECHL First Team honoree Les Lancaster led the Americans and ECHL defensemen with 64 points (26g-38a) on the season while Corey Mackin had a team-leading 30 goals, which was second in the league. Jake Paterson’s 18 wins were tied for fifth in the league and he was second with three shutouts and a .927 save percentage and tied for second with a 2.31 goals-against average.

The Grizzlies’ 34-26-11 mark included a 21-9-6 record on home ice, the second-most home wins in the Western Conference. ECHL All-Rookie Team selection Matthew Boucher paced Utah offensively with 25 goals and 52 points. Ryan Lowney was tied for seventh among defensemen with 37 points (11g-26a) and was tied for second among blueliners with six power-play goals.

Allen posted a 10-6-2 mark against the Grizzlies in the regular season while Utah went 8-6-4 against the Americans. Lancaster led the Americans in the season series with 14 points (1g-13a) while Paterson went 6-1-1 with a 2.46 goals-against average. Utah was led by Cedric Pare’s eight goals while Boucher (6g-5a) and Trey Bradley (2g-9a) shared the team lead with 11 points each.

Game 1 – Tuesday, June 8 at 7:05 p.m. CT at AllenGame 2 – Wednesday, June 9 at 7:05 p.m. CT at AllenGame 3 – Friday, June 11 at 7:10 p.m. MT at UtahGame 4 – Saturday, June 12 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Utah (If Necessary)Game 5 – Monday, June 14 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Utah (If Necessary)

#2 Wichita Thunder (41-22-8) vs. #3 Fort Wayne Komets (29-17-5)Series Matchup Sheet

Wichita enters the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the second time since joining the ECHL in 2014-15, and first since 2018, while Fort Wayne is appearing in the postseason for the seventh consecutive season. The series features the two best defensive teams in the regular season as Fort Wayne led the ECHL with 2.67 goals-against per game and Wichita ranked second with 2.68.

The Thunder’s 41-22-8 mark included an ECHL-leading 22 road wins. Anthony Beauregard finished second in the ECHL with 71 points while posting a league-leading 49 assists. In goal, Evan Buitenhuis, who was named to the All-ECHL Second Team, posted league-leading marks in goals-against average (2.29) and save percentage (.931) while ECHL All-Rookie Team honoree Evan Weninger was fourth with a .923 save percentage.

In addition to leading the league in goals-against per game, Fort Wayne also boasted league-leading marks on the power play (25.9 percent) and penalty kill (86.8 percent) while finishing second in goals per game (3.33). Brandon Hawkins paced the Komets with 23 goals and 39 points while his 13 power-play goals led the ECHL. Dylan Ferguson posted a 7-3-1 record in 11 appearances with a 1.96 goals-against average and a save percentage of .920.

Wichita won two of the three games in the season series against the Komets. Brayden Watts led the Thunder in the three games with four points (2g-2a) while Buitenhuis went 1-1-0 with a 1.51 goals-against average. Fort Wayne was led by Marc-Olivier Roy’s two goals and Alan Lyszczarczyk’s three points (0g-3a). Ferguson was 1-0-0 against the Thunder with a 1.00 goals-against average.

Game 1 – Tuesday, June 8 at 7:05 p.m. CT at WichitaGame 2 – Wednesday, June 9 at 7:05 p.m. CT WichitaGame 3 – Friday, June 11 at 8 p.m. ET at Fort WayneGame 4 – Saturday, June 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne (If Necessary)Game 5 – Monday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne (If Necessary) 

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