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2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs - Division Semifinals Preview

Tuesday, April 18th
2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs - Division Semifinals Preview

North Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)#1 Newfoundland Growlers (48-22-2) vs. #4 Adirondack Thunder (32-29-12)Series Matchup Sheet Newfoundland is in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the third consecutive time while Adirondack returns to the postseason for the first time since 2019. The Growlers, who won the Kelly Cup in 2019 and are 7-1 all-time in postseason series, captured the North Division title with a 48-22-2 record. Zach O’Brien, who earned a spot on the All-ECHL First Team and received the ECHL Sportsmanship Award, was tied for third in the league with 87 points (23g-64a) in 59 games. Luke Cavallin was tied for third with a 2.56 goals-against average and tied for fifth with 24 wins. Adirondack went on a 22-12-5 run over its final 39 games to reach the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. Shane Harper finished tied for ninth in the league with 76 points (22g-54a) in the regular season. Newfoundland went 6-5-0 against the Thunder in the season series while Adirondack was 5-4-2. Pavel Gogolev led the Growlers in the head-to-head matchups with nine goals and 16 points while Harper led the Thunder with eight goals and 16 points. Game 1 – Wednesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. ET at AdirondackGame 2 – Friday, April 21 at 7 p.m. ET at AdirondackGame 3 – Saturday, April 22 at 5 p.m. ET at AdirondackGame 4 – Tuesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. NT at NewfoundlandGame 5 – Thursday, April 27 at 7 p.m. NT at Newfoundland (If Necessary)Game 6 – Sunday, April 30 at 4 p.m. NT at Newfoundland (If Necessary)Game 7 – Tuesday, May 2 at 7 p.m. NT at Newfoundland (If Necessary) #2 Reading Royals (41-25-6) vs. #3 Maine Mariners (42-27-3)Series Matchup Sheet For the second consecutive year, Reading and Maine meet in the North Division Semifinals after the Royals prevailed 4 games to 2 in the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Reading was led during the regular season by Charlie Gerard, who had 76 points (33g-43a) in 62 games. He was followed closely by a pair of rookies in Max Newton, who finished second among first-year players in the league with 34 goals and third with 72 points, and Jacob Gaucher, who tallied 61 points (22g-39a) in 71 games. In goal, Pat Nagle went 21-7-0 in 28 appearances and was tied for sixth in the ECHL with a 2.61 goals-against average. Maine was led offensively by Patrick Shea, who tallied 27 goals, and Tim Doherty, who picked up a team-leading 73 points (21g-52a). In goal, Michael DiPietro was fifth with a .918 save percentage and tied for sixth with a 2.61 goals-against average  During the regular season, Reading went 4-2-0 against the Mariners while Maine was 2-4-0 against the Royals. Gaucher paced the Royals with four goals and Mason Millman had a team-leading eight points (1g-7a). Shea was the Mariners top scorer against Reading with seven goals and 10 points.Game 1 – Friday, April 21 at 7 p.m. ET at ReadingGame 2 – Saturday, April 22 at 7 p.m. ET at ReadingGame 3 – Monday, April 24 at 7 p.m. ET at Maine Game 4 – Tuesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. ET at MaineGame 5 – Wednesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. ET at Maine (If Necessary)Game 6 – Saturday, April 29 at 7 p.m. ET at Reading (If Necessary)Game 7 – Sunday, April 30 at 3 p.m. ET at Reading (If Necessary)South Division Semifinals (Best of Seven) #1 South Carolina Stingrays (45-22-5) vs. #4 Florida Everblades (38-25-9)Series Matchup SheetSouth Carolina returns to the Kelly Cup Playoffs after missing for just the second time in 29 seasons while the defending Kelly Cup champion Everblades are back in the postseason for the eighth straight season and 23rd time in 24 seasons.The two clubs have met seven times previously in the Kelly Cup Playoffs with the Stingrays having won the last four meetings, including the most recent in the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals, after the Everblades had won the first three meetings. South Carolina, which won the South Division title for the third time since 2016, finished third in the league with 2.69 goals-against per game. Clay Stevenson finished fourth in the ECHL with a 2.54 goals-against average while Tyler Wall was seventh with a 2.58 goals-against average. Kevin O’Neil led the Stingrays with 24 goals and Josh Wilkins tallied a team-leading 62 points (21g-41a). Joe Pendenza led Florida in the regular season with 24 goals and 62 points, while Cam Johnson was tied for third in the league with 26 wins The Stingrays went 3-6-1 against Florida in the season series while the Everblades were 7-2-1. O’Neil paced South Carolina in the head-to-head meetings with five goals and nine points while Pendenza’s eight points (2g-6a) topped Florida.Game 1 – Saturday, April 22 at 6:05 p.m. ET at South CarolinaGame 2 – Monday, April 24 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South CarolinaGame 3 – Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET at FloridaGame 4 – Friday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET at FloridaGame 5 – Saturday, April 29 at 7 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)Game 6 – Monday, May 1 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South Carolina (If Necessary)Game 7 – Wednesday, May 3 at 7:05 p.m. ET at South Carolina (If Necessary)#2 Jacksonville Icemen (44-23-5) vs. #3 Greenville Swamp Rabbits (40-23-9)Series Matchup SheetJacksonville has reached the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the third time in the last four postseasons while Greenville has advanced for the third consecutive season. The Icemen set a team record in the regular season with 44 wins. Derek Lodermeier led Jacksonville with 26 goals while Christopher Brown’s 64 points (24g-40a) topped the club. Parker Gahagen finished ninth in the league with a 2.66 goals-against average. Greenville won 40 games in the regular season for the first time since 2016-17. Alex Ierullo, who earned spots on the ECHL All-Rookie Team and the All-ECHL Second Team, was tied for third in the league with 87 points (27g-60a) in 67 games. Fellow All-ECHL Second Team selection Max Martin was second among defensemen with 12 goals and tied for third with 52 points. The road team enjoyed considerable success in the season series between the two teams. Jacksonville was 6-4-1 overall, and 5-1-0 on the road, while Greenville went 5-4-2 overall and 4-1-0 away from home. Derek Lodermeier (3g-6a) and Ara Nazarian (3g-6a) led the Icemen against Greenville with nine points each while Ierullo’s 15 points (5g-10a) paced the Swamp Rabbits.Game 1 – Friday, April 21 at 7 p.m. ET at JacksonvilleGame 2 – Sunday, April 23 at 5 p.m. ET at JacksonvilleGame 3 – Tuesday, April 25 at 7:05 p.m. ET at GreenvilleGame 4 – Friday, April 28 at 7:05 p.m. ET at GreenvilleGame 5 – Saturday, April 29 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Greenville (If Necessary)Game 6 – Tuesday, May 2 at 7 p.m. ET at Jacksonville (If Necessary)Game 7 –Wednesday, May 3 at 7 p.m. ET at Jacksonville (If Necessary)Central Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)#1 Cincinnati Cyclones (47-16-9) vs. #4 Fort Wayne Komets (34-31-7)Series Matchup SheetCincinnati and Fort Wayne meet in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the fourth time in the last nine postseasons. The Komets have won the last two meetings, including in the 2018 Central Division Semifinals. The Cyclones captured the Central Division title for the third time in the last four seasons. Zack Andrusiak led Cincinnati offensively with 32 goals and 73 points while Jalen Smereck was tied for fifth among defensemen with 50 points (11g-39a). Beck Warm was tied for the league lead with 28 wins while Mark Sinclair was tied for second with four shutouts. Fort Wayne has advanced to the Kelly Cup Playoffs in each of the last nine postseasons, the longest active streak in the ECHL. Shawn Boudrais finished the season tied for eighth in the league with 33 goals and posted a team-leading 65 points. Cincinnati went 5-2-2 during the season series with Fort Wayne going 4-4-1. Andrusiak’s 10 points (4g-6a) were tops on the Cyclones against the Komets while Tye Felhaber had eight points (3g-5a) to lead Fort Wayne. Game 1 – Friday, April 21 at 7:35 p.m. ET at CincinnatiGame 2 – Saturday, April 22 at 7:35 p.m. ET at CincinnatiGame 3 – Tuesday, April 25 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Fort WayneGame 4 – Friday, April 28 at 8:05 p.m. ET at Fort WayneGame 5 – Sunday, April 30 at 6:05 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne (If Necessary)Game 6 – Tuesday, May 2 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati (If Necessary)Game 7 – Wednesday, May 3 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati (If Necessary)#2 Toledo Walleye (45-19-8) vs. #3 Indy Fuel (43-24-5)Series Matchup SheetToledo is in the postseason for the seventh consecutive time while Indy has reached the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the second time in three seasons. The Walleye captured the only previous postseason matchup between the clubs in the 2018 Central Division Semifinals. The Walleye, who have reached the Kelly Cup Finals in their last two postseason appearances (2019 and 2022), won at least 40 games for the seventh time over the last eight seasons. All-ECHL First Team selection Brandon Hawkins was tied for second in the league with 38 goals while ranking seventh with 81 points. Sebastian Cossa was tied for third with 26 wins and a 2.56 goals-against average. Indy won a team-record 43 games in the regular season, and was paced by Chad Yetman’s 26 goals and Alex Wideman’s 72 points (22g-50a). Zach Driscoll ranked fifth among goaltenders with 2,434 minutes played and was ninth with 1,095 saves. Toledo went 5-1-0 in the season series against the Fuel while Indy was 1-4-1 against the Walleye. Hawkins was Toledo’s top offensive threat with four goals and 11 points while Wideman paced Indy with five points (2g-3a).Game 1 – Friday, April 21 at 7:15 p.m. ET at ToledoGame 2 – Saturday, April 22 at 7:15 p.m. ET at ToledoGame 3 – Tuesday, April 25 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Indy Game 4 – Thursday, April 27 at 7:05 p.m. ET at IndyGame 5 – Saturday, April 29 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Indy (If Necessary) Game 6 – Monday, May 1 at 7:15 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)Game 7 – Tuesday, May 2 at 7:15 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)Mountain Division Semifinals (Best of Seven) #1 Idaho Steelheads (58-11-3) vs. #4 Utah Grizzlies (35-33-4)Series Matchup SheetIdaho rewrote the ECHL record in the regular season, setting league records for home wins (32), overall wins (58) and points (119) on its way to winning the Brabham Cup for the second time in team history. Utah used a 6-2-1 run down the stretch to reach the postseason for the fourth consecutive time. The Steelheads were led in the regular season by Ryan Dmowski, who posted a team-best 30 goals and 64 points. Owen Headrick, who earned spots on the ECHL All-Rookie Team and the All-ECHL First Team, led all league defensemen in the regular season with 15 goals and was tied for first with 54 points. All-ECHL Second Team selection Adam Scheel was tied for the league lead with 28 wins, while finishing in the top spot among goaltenders with a 1.97 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage. Cameron Wright led Utah, and was fourth among ECHL rookies, with 29 goals in the regular season. Wright also paced the Grizzlies with 63 points. Idaho went 14-4-0 during the regular-season series with Utah going 4-13-1. Jordan Kawaguchi scored a team-best nine goals for the Steelheads with Dmowski leading the way with 15 points (6g-9a). Jordan Martel led the way for the Grizzlies with six goals and eight points.Game 1 – Wednesday, April 19 at 7:10 p.m. MT at IdahoGame 2 – Friday, April 21 at 7:10 p.m. MT at IdahoGame 3 – Wednesday, April 26 at 7:10 p.m. MT at UtahGame 4 – Friday, April 28 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Utah Game 5 – Saturday, April 29 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Utah (If Necessary)Game 6 – Monday, May 1 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)Game 7 – Tuesday, May 2 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)#2 Allen Americans (37-32-3) vs. #3 Kansas City Mavericks (34-30-8)Series Matchup SheetAllen was one of the hottest teams in the ECHL since Jan. 1, posting a record of 28-15-2 over its final 45 games to earn a postseason berth for the third consecutive time while Kansas City is back in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2019. Allen’s Hank Crone, who was named ECHL Rookie of the Year on Monday, led the league during the regular season with 49 goals and 105 points. He was one of three Americans to finish in the top six of the league scoring race as Jack Combs was second with 95 points (36g-59a) and Colton Hargrove was sixth with 85 points (39g-46a). Pascal Laberge led Kansas City offensively during the regular season with 53 points (21g-32a). Shane Starrett finished the season tied for fifth with 24 wins and was 10th with a 2.68 goals-against average. During the regular season, Allen went 4-2-0 against the Mavericks while Kansas City was 2-3-1 against the Americans. Crone (3g-4a) and Hargrove (4g-3a) led the way for Allen in the head-to-head meetings with seven points each with Hugo Roy pacing the Mavericks with five goals and 10 points.Game 1 – Wednesday, April 19 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Kansas CityGame 2 – Thursday, April 20 at 7:05 p.m. MT at Kansas CityGame 3 – Monday, April 24 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Kansas CityGame 4 – Friday, April 28 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen Game 5 – Saturday, April 29 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen (If Necessary)Game 6 – Monday, May 1 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen (If Necessary)Game 7 – Wednesday, May 3 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen (If Necessary) 

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