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2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs - Division Semifinals Preview

Wednesday, April 20th
2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs 1st Round Bracket

North Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)#1 Reading Royals (45-17-9) vs. #4 Maine Mariners (33-31-8)Series Matchup Sheet Reading returns to the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2018 on the heels of its first division title since 2013-14 while Maine enters the postseason for the first time in its ECHL history. The Royals finished second overall in the ECHL during the regular season, and were one of just three teams to win 20 or more games both at home and on the road. Trevor Gooch finished third in the league with 34 goals while Dominic Cormier was fourth among defensemen with 16 goals. Maine used a 3-0-1 finish to the regular season to edge out Worcester for the final playoff spot in the North Division. The Mariners were led offensively by Mathew Santos, who posted a team-leading 26 goals and 59 points. Jeremy Brodeur ranked fifth among goaltenders with 1,051 saves and seventh with 2,065 minutes played. Reading went 3-3-0 against the Mariners in the regular season while Maine was 3-2-1 against the Royals. The home team won each of the six games in the season series. Gooch led the Royals in the series with four goals while Patrick Bajkov had a team-leading six points (2g-4a). Maine was led by Cameron Askew, who had four goals, while Pascal Laberge (2g-4a) and Nick Master (3g-3a) both had six points. Game 1 – Wednesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. ET at ReadingGame 2 – Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m. ET at ReadingGame 3 – Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m. ET at MaineGame 4 – Friday, April 29 at 7:15 p.m. ET at MaineGame 5 – Saturday, April 30 at 6 p.m. ET at Maine (If Necessary)Game 6 – Monday, May 2 at 7 p.m. ET at Reading (If Necessary)Game 7 –Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. ET at Reading (If Necessary) #2 Newfoundland Growlers (42-20-5) vs. #3 Trois-Rivières Lions (34-29-6) Series Matchup Sheet The Newfoundland Growlers are back in the postseason after capturing the Kelly Cup title in their inaugural season in 2019, while the Trois-Rivières Lions are looking to accomplish the same achievement, having quailed for the Kelly Cup Playoffs in their first ECHL season. Newfoundland was led in the regular season by Zach O’Brien, who earned a spot on the All-ECHL Second Team as well as received the ECHL Sportsmanship Award, who finished tie for second in the league with 78 points (28g-50a) in 53 games. Keith Petruzzelli, who was named to both the ECHL All-Rookie Team and the All-Second Team, went 15-6-1 with a 2.10 goals-against average and a save percentage of .924. Trois-Rivières was led offensively by Anthony Nellis, one of three Lions’ players – along with Mathieu Brodeur and Olivier Galipeau – who won the 2021 Kelly Cup title in Fort Wayne. Nellis posted team-leading totals of 22 goals, 39 assists and 61 points in 67 games. During the regular season, Newfoundland went 10-3-1 overall against the Lions, including a 6-1-0 mark in Trois-Rivières. Todd Skirving led the Growlers with nine goals while O’Brien had a team-high 20 points (8g-12a). The Lions were led by Nellis’ 12 points (4g-8a) while Nicolas Lariviere and Cedric Montminy both scored five goals.Game 1 – Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m. NT at NewfoundlandGame 2 – Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m. NT at NewfoundlandGame 3 – Tuesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. ET at Trois-Rivières Game 4 – Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m. ET at Trois-RivièresGame 5 – Saturday, April 30 at 7 p.m. ET at Trois-Rivières (If Necessary)Game 6 – Monday, May 2 at 7 p.m. NT at Newfoundland (If Necessary)Game 7 – Tuesday, May 3 at 7 p.m. NT at Newfoundland (If Necessary)South Division Semifinals (Best of Seven) #1 Florida Everblades (42-20-10) vs. #4 Greenville Swamp Rabbits (33-29-10)Series Matchup SheetFlorida has advanced to the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the seventh straight season and the 22nd time in 23 seasons while Greenville is appearing in the postseason for the second consecutive season. The Everblades, who were second in the ECHL with 23 road wins, captured the South Division title, marking their sixth division title since 2014-15. Three Everblades - Blake Winiecki (33g-37a), John McCarron (29g-41a) and Darik Angeli (29g-41a) - finished the season tied for seventh in the ECHL scoring race with 70 points each while Parker Gahagen ranked second among goaltenders with a 2.32 goals-against average and tied for sixth with a .916 save percentage. Greenville used a second-half rally to earn a postseason berth, going 24-14-4 over its final 42 games to finish in fourth place in the South Division. Liam Pecararo paced the Swamp Rabbits offensively with 23 goals and 51 points while John Lethemon ranked ninth among goaltenders with a 2.69 goals-against average and tied for 11th with a .911 save percentage. Florida went 5-5-0 against the Swamp Rabbits in the regular season while Greenville was 5-4-1 against the Everblades. McCarron’s 10 points (4g-6a) led Florida in the head-to-head meetings whle Gahagen went 4-4-0 with a 1.94 goals-against average. Pecararo led the way for the Swamp Rabbits with five goals and points with Lethemon going 2-2-0 with a 2.02 goals-against average.Game 1 – Friday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET at FloridaGame 2 – Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m. ET at FloridaGame 3 – Wednesday, April 27 at 7:05 p.m. ET at GreenvilleGame 4 – Friday, April 29 at 7:05 p.m. ET at GreenvilleGame 5 – Saturday, April 30 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Greenville (If Necessary)Game 6 – Monday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)Game 7 – Wednesday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)#2 Atlanta Gladiators (43-24-5) vs. #3 Jacksonville Icemen (40-27-5)Series Matchup SheetAtlanta returns to the postseason for the first time since 2018, while Jacksonville makes its first Kelly Cup Playoffs appearance since 2019. The Gladiators were tied for the ECHL lead in home wins (25-10-1) and surpassed 40 overall wins for the first time since 2012-13. Cody Sylvester was Atlanta’s top offensive threat in the regular season with 26 goals and 55 points. Jacksonville boasted the ECHL’s top defense during the regular season, leading the league in both goals-against per game (2.57) and shots-against per game (26.07). Craig Martin led the Icemen with 25 goals and 60 points, while All-ECHL First Team selection Francois Brassard posted an ECHL-leading 2.19 goals-against average. During the regular-season series, Atlanta went 7-3-1 against the Icemen while Jacksonville went 4-5-2. Eric Neiley led the Gladiators with six goals while Derek Nesbitt had a team-best 11 points (3g-8a). Martin’s six goals and 10 points led the way for the Icemen against Atlanta.Game 1 – Thursday, April 21 at 7 p.m. ET at JacksonvilleGame 2 – Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m. ET at JacksonvilleGame 3 – Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. ET at JacksonvilleGame 4 – Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m. ET at JacksonvilleGame 5 – Sunday, May 1 at 3 p.m. ET at Atlanta (If Necessary)Game 6 – Monday, May 2 at 7 p.m. ET at Atlanta (If Necessary)Game 7 –Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. ET at Atlanta (If Necessary)Central Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)#1 Toledo Walleye (49-19-4) vs. #4 Cincinnati Cyclones (36-32-4)Series Matchup SheetToledo enters the Kelly Cup Playoffs fresh off its fifth division title in the last seven seasons while Cincinnati has reached the postseason for the third consecutive season. The Walleye won their third Brabham Cup as ECHL regular-season champions in the last eight years, and led the league with 24 road wins while tying for the league lead with 25 home wins. TJ Hensick, who was named to the All-ECHL First Team, finished the season tied for second with 78 points (22g-56a) while Brandon Hawkins, who captured the Kelly Cup title with Fort Wayne last season, tied for the league lead with 35 goals. Cincinnati was led during the season by Jesse Schultz, who was seventh in the ECHL scoring race with 71 points (23g-48a) and Zack Andrusiak, who finished 13th with 68 points (29g-39a). Toledo won six of the seven meetings between the teams during the regular season with Hawkins leading the charge offensively with five goals. Justin Vaive was the Cyclones’ top producer in the head-to-head series with eight points (3g-5a). Game 1 – Friday, April 22 at 7:35 p.m. ET at ToledoGame 2 – Saturday, April 23 at 7:35 p.m. ET at ToledoGame 3 – Monday, April 25 at 7:35 p.m. ET at CincinnatiGame 4 – Wednesday, April 27 at 7:35 p.m. ET at CincinnatiGame 5 – Thursday, April 28 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati (If Necessary)Game 6 – Saturday, April 30 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)Game 7 – Tuesday, May 3 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)#2 Fort Wayne Komets (40-25-7) vs. #3 Wheeling Nailers (37-31-4)Series Matchup SheetFort Wayne looks to defend its 2021 Kelly Cup title while Wheeling returns to the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time since reaching the 2016 Kelly Cup Finals. The Komets, who are in the postseason for the eighth consecutive season, were tied for the league lead during the regular season with 25 home wins. All-ECHL First Team selection Will Graber led the ECHL in assists (57), points (83) and plus-minus (+37) while Samuel Harvey was tied for second with 23 wins and tied for sixth with a .916 save percentage. Wheeling was led in the regular season by All-ECHL First Team selection Patrick Watling, who finished fourth in the league with 77 points (31g-46a) in 55 games. John Maniscalco, who was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team and the All-ECHL Second Team, was third among defensemen with 17 goals and 53 points. Fort Wayne went 7-1-2 against the Nailers in the regular season, including 5-0-0 on home ice. Kellen Jones led the Komets offensively with 10 points (2g-8a) while Harvey was 6-0-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average. Maniscalco was Wheeling’s top offensive threat against the Komets with four goals and eight points.Game 1 – Friday, April 22 at 8 p.m. ET at Fort WayneGame 2 – Saturday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort WayneGame 3 – Wednesday, April 27 at 7:10 p.m. ET at WheelingGame 4 – Friday, April 29 at 7:10 p.m. ET at WheelingGame 5 – Saturday, April 30 at 7:10 p.m. ET at Wheeling (If Necessary)Game 6 – Monday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne (If Necessary)Game 7 – Tuesday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne (If Necessary)Mountain Division Semifinals (Best of Seven) #1 Utah Grizzlies (42-27-3) vs. #4 Tulsa Oilers (36-30-6)Series Matchup SheetUtah, which captured a regular-season division title for the first time in its ECHL history, is in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the third consecutive season and for the 13th time in the last 14 seasons, while Tulsa is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2019, when it reached the Western Conference Finals. The Grizzlies were led in the regular season by ECHL All-Rookie Team selection Benjamin Tardif, who finished third among first-year players with 59 points (20g-39a) in 53 games, and All-ECHL First Team selection Charle-Edouard D’Astous, who led ECHL defensemen with 26 goals and was second with 57 points. Trent Miner led the league with seven shutouts, which is tied for the second-most in a single season in ECHL history. Tulsa used a 6-3-1 run in its final 10 games of the regular season to secure a playoff spot. The Oilers were led by ECHL All-Rookie Team selection Jack Doremus, who was tied for second among first-year players in goals (29) and points (59). Fellow rookie Daniel Mannella led the ECHL with 29 wins, while ranking sixth with a 2.60 goals-against average. Utah went 4-3-1 in the season-series against the Oilers while Tulsa was 4-4-0. Mason Mannek led the Grizzlies with four goals and nine points while Doremus’ six goals and nine points were tops among Oilers’ skaters.Game 1 – Friday, April 22 at 7:10 p.m. MT at UtahGame 2 – Saturday, April 23 at 7:10 p.m. MT at UtahGame 3 – Tuesday, April 26 at 7:05 p.m. CT at TulsaGame 4 – Wednesday, April 27 at 7:05 p.m. CT at TulsaGame 5 – Thursday, April 28 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Tulsa (If Necessary)Game 6 – Monday, May 2 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Utah (If Necessary)Game 7 – Wednesday, May 4 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Utah (If Necessary)#2 Rapid City Rush (36-25-11) vs. #3 Allen Americans (35-28-9)Series Matchup SheetRapid City returns to the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2015 while Allen, which captured Kelly Cup titles in 2015 and 2016, is making its sixth appearance in seven seasons. Brett Gravelle led the Rush during the regular season with 29 goals, which was tied for second among ECHL rookies, while Logan Nelson posted a team-high 57 points (22g-38a). They were two of seven Rapid City skaters to scored at least 20 goals. In goal, Lukas Parik was tied for eighth with a .915 save percentage and was tied for ninth with a 2.69 goals-against average. Allen was led by All-ECHL Second Team selection Chad Costello, who ranked sixth in the league with 72 points (26g-46a). Americans’ head coach Steve Martinson enters the postseason second in ECHL history with 99 postseason games coached (nine behind all-time leader Matt Thomas) and third with 53 postseason wins (two behind all-time leader John Brophy). During the regular season, Rapid City went 3-1-1 against the Americans while Allen was 2-3-0 against the Rush. Both teams enjoyed success on the road in the head-to-head series with Rapid City going 2-0-0 and Allen going 2-1-0. Nelson (3g-2a) and Gabriel Chabot (2g-3a) led the Rush in the season series with five points each while Costello (0g-6a) and Spencer Asuchak (3g-3a) paced the Americans with six points each.Game 1 – Friday, April 22 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Rapid CityGame 2 – Saturday, April 23 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Rapid CityGame 3 – Tuesday, April 26 at 7:05 p.m. CT at AllenGame 4 – Friday, April 29 at 7:05 p.m. CT at AllenGame 5 – Saturday, April 30 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen (If Necessary)Game 6 – Monday, May 2 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Rapid City (If Necessary)Game 7 – Wednesday, May 4 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Rapid City (If Necessary)

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