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Preview of 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs Division Finals

Thursday, May 4th
Preview of 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs Division Finals

North Division Finals #1 Newfoundland Growlers vs. #2 Reading RoyalsSeries Matchup Sheet For the second consecutive season, Newfoundland meets Reading in the North Division Finals. Last year, the Growlers prevailed in seven games, becoming the eighth team in ECHL postseason history to win a best-of-seven series after trailing 3-1. Newfoundland, which won 48 games in the regular season, defeated Adirondack in five games in the North Division Semifinals, winning the final four games after dropping the series opener. Zach O’Brien’s nine points (4g-5a) in the first round is tops among all players in the postseason while Dryden McKay was 4-0 with one shutout, and ranks fourth with a 1.80 goals-against average. Reading eliminated Maine 4 games to 2 in the North Division Semifinals. Jacob Gaucher (4g-4a) and Evan Barratt (2g-6a) paced the Royals in the series, and are tied for second in the playoffs with eight points each. Pat Nagle went 4-1, giving him 49 career postseason wins, which is second all-time in league history. Nagle is four wins away from the all-time record of 53, which is held by Riley Gill. During the regular season, Newfoundland went 5-4-1 against the Royals while Reading was 5-3-2. O’Brien was the Growlers top offensive performer with 16 points (1g-15a) with Todd Skirving scoring a team-best six goals. Reading was led in the season series by Max Newton (6g-5a) and Gaucher (3g-8a), who both had 11 points. Game 1 - Saturday, May 6 at 7 p.m. ET at ReadingGame 2 - Sunday, May 7 at 3 p.m. ET at ReadingGame 3 - Tuesday, May 9 at 7 p.m. ET at ReadingGame 4 - Thursday, May 11 at 7 p.m. NT at NewfoundlandGame 5 - Monday, May 15 at 7 p.m. NT at Newfoundland (If Necessary)Game 6 – Tuesday, May 16 at 7 p.m. NT at Newfoundland (If Necessary)Game 7 – Wednesday, May 17 at 7 p.m. NT at Newfoundland (If Necessary) South Division Finals #2 Jacksonville Icemen vs. #4 Florida EverbladesSeries Matchup Sheet Jacksonville and Florida meet in the South Division Finals for the second consecutive year, and are battling in the postseason for the third time in the last four playoffs. The Everblades prevailed 4 games to 2 in the 2019 South Division Semifinals and 4 games to 0 in the 2022 South Division Finals. The Icemen are coming off of a 4 games to 2 win over Greenville in the South Division Semifinals. Craig Martin is tied for the playoff lead with four goals while his seven points are tied for fourth overall. Olaf Lindbom and Charles Williams each recorded two victories in the opening-round series, with Lindbom tied for ninth with a 2.16 goals-against average. The defending Kelly Cup champion Everblades took down South Division regular-season champion South Carolina in six games in the first round. Joe Pendenza paced Florida in the opening round with seven points (3g-4a), which is tied for fourth in the playoffs. Cam Johnson, the 2022 June M. Kelly Playoffs MVP recipient, posted two shutouts against the Stingrays and ranks third with a 1.61 goals-against average and .947 save percentage. In the regular-season meetings, Jacksonville went 5-5-0 against the Everblades while Florida was 6-2-2. The Icemen were led by Martin’s four goals and Brendan Harris’ 12 points (2g-10a). Lindbom appeared in seven of the matchups, going 5-2-0 with a 2.22 goal-against average. Pendenza was Florida’s top offensive performer with five goals and nine points while Johnson was 3-1-1 with a 2.74 goals-against average. Game 1 - Saturday, May 6 at 7 p.m. ET at JacksonvilleGame 2 - Sunday, May 7 at 5 p.m. ET at JacksonvilleGame 3 - Wednesday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET at FloridaGame 4 - Friday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET at FloridaGame 5 - Saturday, May 13 at 7 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)Game 6 – Monday, May 15 at 7 p.m. ET at Jacksonville (If Necessary)Game 7 – Tuesday, May 16 at 7 p.m. ET at Jacksonville (If Necessary) Central Division Finals #1 Cincinnati Cyclones vs. #2 Toledo WalleyeSeries Matchup SheetBuckeye State rivals Cincinnati and Toledo meet for the third consecutive postseason. The Walleye have won the last two meetings, taking the 2022 Central Division Semifinals in seven games and the 2019 Central Division Finals in five games. Cincinnati dispatched Fort Wayne in seven games in the opening round, with each of its four wins coming by one goal. Jalen Smereck led the Cyclones in the series, and is tied for third among defensemen, with six points (0g-6a). Beck Warm ranks third with a .950 save percentage and is seventh with a 1.89 goals-against average. Toledo eliminated Indy 4 games to 0 in its Central Division Semifinals series. Trenton Bliss was the Walleye’s top offensive performer with seven points (4g-3a). In goal, both Sebastian Cossa and John Lethemon won two games, with Cossa leading all goaltenders with a 1.00 goals-against average and ranking second with a .958 save percentage. The Cyclones went 6-3-2 in the regular season against Toledo while the Walleye went 5-4-2. Zach Andrusiak paced Cincinnati with 13 points (6g-7a) with Brandon Hawkins leading the way for Toledo with 14 points (6g-8a). Game 1 - Friday, May 5 at 7:35 p.m. ET at CincinnatiGame 2 - Saturday, May 6 at 7:35 p.m. ET at CincinnatiGame 3 - Wednesday, May 10 at 7:15 p.m. ET at ToledoGame 4 - Friday, May 12 at 7:15 p.m. ET at ToledoGame 5 - Saturday, May 13 at 7:15 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)Game 6 – Tuesday, May 16 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati (If Necessary)Game 7 – Wednesday, May 17 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati (If Necessary)Mountain Division Finals #1 Idaho Steelheads vs. #2 Allen AmericansSeries Matchup Sheet Idaho and Allen meet in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the third time, with both of their previous match-ups going seven games. The Americans won the first meeting, in the 2016 Western Conference Quarterfinals while the Steelheads captured the 2018 Mountain Division Semifinals, becoming the second team in ECHL history to win a series after trailing 3 games to 0. The Steelheads became the 19th team in ECHL history to win a best-of-seven series after dropping the first two games when they defeated Utah 4 games to 2 in the opening round. Idaho won each of the final four games in overtime, becoming the second team in league history to do so, joining the 2019 Steelheads. Owen Headrick led the club against Utah with six points (0g-6a), which is tied for third among defensemen in the playoffs. Allen eliminated Kansas City 4 games to 2 in the opening round, with all six games in the seies being decided by one goal. The Americans allowed 11 goals in the series, which is tied for the fifth fewest allowed in a six-game series in ECHL postseason history. Colton Hargrove was one of three Americans’ to post four points against Kansas City, while also leading the team with three goals. Kevin Mandolese ranks fifth among goaltenders with a 1.82 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage. The Steelheads won each of the eight regular-season meetings against Allen. Ty Pelton-Byce paced Idaho in the series with 12 points (5g-7a) with Adam Scheel going 6-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and a save percentage of .931. Liam Finlay was Allen’s top offensive performer with eight points (4g-4a). Game 1 - Friday, May 5 at 7:05 p.m. CT at AllenGame 2 - Saturday, May 6 at 7:05 p.m. CT at AllenGame 3 - Wednesday, May 10 at 7:10 p.m. MT at IdahoGame 4 - Friday, May 12 at 7:10 p.m. MT at IdahoGame 5 - Saturday, May 13 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)Game 6 – Monday, May 15 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)Game 7 – Wednesday, May 17 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Allen (If Necessary) 

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