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Preview of Division Semifinals - 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs

Tuesday, April 16th
Preview of Division Semifinals - 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs

North Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

#1 Adirondack Thunder (43-18-11) vs. #4 Maine Mariners (32-32-8)
Series Matchup Sheet
 
Adirondack enters the postseason coming off its first division title since 2017-18 while Maine earned its third consecutive playoff berth with an overtime win against the Thunder in the final game of the regular season on Sunday.
 
The Thunder went 43-18-11 in the regular season and were one of six teams to win at least 20 games at home and on the road. Tristan Ashbrook led Adirondack during the season with 32 goals and 57 points, ranking him second among ECHL rookies in goals and tied for ninth in points. Jeremy Brodeur posted an 18-9-3 record in goal and was tied for fourth with a 2.56 goals-against average and was fifth with a .918 save percentage.
 
The Mariners ended the regular season fifth in the league with 3.47 goals per game, highlighted by All-ECHL First Team selection Alex Kile, who was tied for third in the league with 37 goals and was fourth with 83 points. In goal, Brad Arvanitis was tied for third with a .920 save percentage, ranked 10th with a 2.71 goals-against average and was tied for 10th with 20 wins.
 
Adirondack went 8-4-2 in the regular-season series while Maine was 6-5-3. Ashbrook led the Thunder in the head-to-head matchups with nine goals and 17 points while Kile paced the Mariners with 13 goals and 25 points.
 
Game 1 – Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack
Game 2 – Sunday, April 21 at 5 p.m. ET at Adirondack
Game 3 – Friday, April 26 at 7:15 p.m. ET at Maine
Game 4 – Saturday, April 27 at 6 p.m. ET at Maine
Game 5 – Sunday, April 28 at 3 p.m. ET at Maine (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, April 30 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack (If Necessary)
 
#2 Norfolk Admirals (41-21-7) vs. #3 Trois-Rivières Lions (31-30-8)
Series Matchup Sheet
 
Norfolk has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time since joining the ECHL in the 2015-16 season while Trois-Rivières is in the postseason for the second time in three years.
 
The Admirals saw a 42-point improvement from the 2022-23 season to finish in second place in the North Division. Danny Katic led Norfolk in the regular season with 24 goals while Stepan Timofeyev was the club’s leading scorer with 53 points (20g-33a). In 34 appearances in goal, Yaniv Perets went 18-11-3 with a 2.99 goals-against average and a save percentage of .889.
 
Trois-Rivières won the final two games of the regular season to earn its spot in the postseason. Jakov Novak paced the Lions with 30 goals and 56 points, ranking him third and 11th among ECHL rookies respectively. Zachary Émond posted shutouts in the final two games of the regular season against Worcester, and went 9-7-1 with a 2.81 goals-against average in 17 appearances.
 
During the regular season, Norfolk went 7-1-0 against the Lions while Trois-Rivières was 1-6-1 against the Admirals. Justin Robidas led Norfolk in the regular-season series with five goals and nine points while Anthony Beauregard was the top performer for the Lions with four goals and eight points.

Game 1 – Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. ET at Trois-Rivières
Game 2 – Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m. ET at Trois-Rivières
Game 3 – Saturday, April 20 at 7 p.m. ET at Trois-Rivières
Game 4 – Wednesday, April 24 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Norfolk
Game 5 – Saturday, April 27 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Norfolk (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Sunday, April 28 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Norfolk (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, May 1 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Norfolk (If Necessary)

South Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)
 
#1 Greenville Swamp Rabbits (44-23-5) vs. #4 Orlando Solar Bears (38-24-10) 
Series Matchup Sheet


Greenville has qualified for the postseason for four consecutive seasons while Orlando makes its first appearance in the Kelly Cup Playoffs since 2019.


The Swamp Rabbits enter the playoffs off of their first division title since 2010-11. Carter Souch led a balanced offensive attack for Greenville with 26 goals and 60 points, while Jacob Ingham ranked sixth in the ECHL with a 2.57 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.
 
Orlando used a 9-2-2 run over its final 13 games to clinch a playoff spot. Brayden Low (23g-26a) and Aaron Luchuk (22g-27a) shared the Solar Bears’ scoring lead with 49 points each while Evan Fitzpatrick was a workhorse down the stretch, starting 16 of Orlando’s final games. Fitzpatrick went 12-7-4 overall in 24 appearances with a 2.59 goals-against average and a save percentage of .915.
 
Greenville went 2-5-0 against Orlando while the Solar Bears went 5-1-1 against the Swamp Rabbits. Souch, Anthony Beauchamp and Brannon McManus shared the Greenville scoring lead with a goal and two assists each while Luchuk’s seven goals and eight points were tops for the Solar Bears against Greenville.

#1 Greenville Swamp Rabbits (44-23-5) vs. #4 Orlando Solar Bears (38-24-10)
Game 1 – Sunday, April 21 at 3:05 p.m. ET at Greenville
Game 2 – Monday, April 22 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Greenville
Game 3 – Friday, April 26 at 7 p.m. ET at Orlando
Game 4 – Saturday, April 27 at 9 p.m. ET at Orlando
Game 5 – Sunday, April 28 at 7 p.m. ET at Orlando (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, April 30 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Greenville (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, May 1 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Greenville (If Necessary)

#2 Jacksonville Icemen (42-23-7) vs. #3 Florida Everblades (40-23-9)
Series Matchup Sheet

Jacksonville and Florida meet in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the third straight year and for the fourth time since 2019. It is a matchup of the top two defensive teams in the league as the Everblades led the ECHL with 2.58 goals-against per game and the Icemen ranked second with 2.71.
 
The Icemen won 40 or more games for the third straight year, with Matheson Iacopelli leading the club with 27 goals and Brendan Harris posting a team-best 66 points (21g-45a). Matt Vernon, who was named to both the ECHL All-Rookie Team and the All-ECHL Second Team, was third in the league with 25 wins and ninth with a 2.67 goals-against average.
 
The two-time defending Kelly Cup champion Everblades look to become the first team in ECHL history to win three consecutive titles. Florida was led offensively by Bobo Carpenter’s 28 goals and Oliver Chau’s 60 points (26g-34a) while Cam Johnson, the back-to-back recipient of the June M. Kelly Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award, posted a league-leading 27 wins and 2.21 goals-against average while ranking second with a .921 save percentage.
 
Jacksonville posted a 9-1-1 record in the regular-season series while Florida went 2-7-2. Iacopelli scored a team-best six goals for the Icemen while Harris tallied 11 points (4g-7a). Carpenter’s four goals and Chau’s 11 points led the Everblades against Jacksonville.

Game 1 – Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. ET at Jacksonville
Game 2 – Sunday, April 21 at 3 p.m. ET at Jacksonville
Game 3 – Wednesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida
Game 4 – Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida
Game 5 – Saturday, April 27 at 7 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, April 30 at 7 p.m. ET at Jacksonville (If Necessary)
Game 7 –Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. ET at Jacksonville (If Necessary)

Central Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)

#1 Toledo Walleye (48-14-9) vs. #4 Kalamazoo Wings (38-30-4)
Series Matchup Sheet

Toledo, which enters the postseason on a 14-game winning streak, is appearing in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the eighth consecutive season while Kalamazoo returns to the postseason for the first time since 2019. The Walleye prevailed 4 games to 3 in the 2017 Central Division Semifinals in the only previous playoff matchup between the two teams.
 
The Walleye won the Central Division, earning their sixth division title in the last nine seasons. All-ECHL First Team selection Brandon Hawkins led the ECHL with 40 goals and 93 points. John Lethemon finished second in the league with 26 wins while Jan Bednar was tied for fifth with 22 wins and eighth with a 2.66 goals-against average.
 
Kalamazoo won 38 games in the regular season, its most since the 2016-17 season. Erik Bradford, who earned a spot on the All-ECHL Second Team, was tied for second in the league with 57 assists and 87 points. Hunter Vorva was third with a 2.51 goals-against average and tied for third with a .920 save percentage.
 
The K-Wings went 9-3-1 in the regular-season series while the Walleye were 4-7-2. Kalamazoo was led by Josh Passolt’s six goals and Bradford’s 15 points (5g-10a) while Toledo was paced by five goals each from Chase Gresock and Conlan Keenan and Hawkins’ 12 points (4g-8a).
 
Game 1 – Friday, April 19 at 7:15 p.m. ET at Toledo
Game 2 – Saturday, April 20 at 7:15 p.m. ET at Toledo
Game 3 – Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. ET at Kalamazoo
Game 4 – Friday, April 26 at 7 p.m. ET at Kalamazoo
Game 5 – Saturday, April 27 at 7:15 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, April 30 at 7 p.m. ET at Kalamazoo (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, May 1 at 7:15 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)

#2 Indy Fuel (39-25-8) vs. #3 Wheeling Nailers (38-28-5)
Series Matchup Sheet

Indy is in the postseason for the second straight year and third time in four seasons while Wheeling returns after missing the playoffs a season ago.
 
The Fuel went 18-8-4 over their final 30 games to finish in second place of the Central Division. Kyle Maksimovich led Indy in the regular season with 26 goals, which was seventh among ECHL rookies, while Cameron Hillis had a team-leading 61 points (18g-43a). Zach Driscoll and Mitchell Weeks split goaltending duties for Indy throughout the season, with Driscoll finishing tied for fifth with 22 wins and Weeks ranking 11th with a 2.75 goals-against average.
 
Wheeling used a season-ending three-game winning streak, outscoring its opponents 15-4, to secure its spot in the postseason. Jordan Martel was tied for seventh in the league with 35 goals while Tanner Laderoute was tied for 10th among rookies with 24 goals. All-ECHL First Team selection Taylor Gauthier led the ECHL with a .923 save percentage, was tied for the league lead with four shutouts and ranked second with a 2.23 goals-against average.
 
Indy was 8-2-1 against the Nailers in the regular season while Wheeling went 3-6-2 against the Fuel. Maksimovich and Jon Martin led Indy with seven goals while Bryan Lemos added a team-high 15 points (5g-10a). The Nailers were led by Davis Bunz’ four goals and Jordan Frasca’s 11 points (3g-8a).

Game 1 – Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m. ET at Indy
Game 2 – Saturday, April 20 at 7 p.m. ET at Indy
Game 3 – Monday, April 22 at 7:10 p.m. ET at Wheeling
Game 4 – Tuesday, April 23 at 7:10 p.m. ET at Wheeling
Game 5 – Saturday, April 27 at 7:10 p.m. ET at Wheeling (If Necessary) *
Game 6 – Monday, April 29 at 7 p.m. ET at Indy (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Tuesday, April 30 at 7 p.m. ET at Indy (If Necessary)
 
* - Game 5 is at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry, Pa.

Mountain Division Semifinals (Best of Seven)
 
#1 Kansas City Mavericks (54-12-6) vs. #4 Tulsa Oilers (30-33-9)
Series Matchup Sheet

Kansas City won the Brabham Cup as ECHL regular-season champions, setting a league record in the process with 29 road wins. Tulsa is back in the postseason for the second time in three seasons, and defeated the Mavericks 4 games to 3 in the 2019 Mountain Division Semifinals in the only prior playoff series between the two teams.
 
The Mavericks led the ECHL with 4.24 goals per game and ranked third with 2.81 goals-against per game. All-ECHL First Team selection Patrick Curry was second with 39 goals and tied for second with 87 points while both Max Andreev and Cade Borchardt were named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team. Andreev shared the league lead with a +34 rating and was third among rookies with 73 points (19g-54) while Borchardt led first-year players with 77 points (24g-53a).
 
Eddie Matsushima led Tulsa in the regular season with 25 goals while Kyle Crnkovic posted a team-leading 54 points (20g-34a). Julian Junca saw the majority of time in goal, posting a 16-16-5 record to go along with a 2.87 goals-against average and a save percentage of .901.
 
Kansas City was 6-1-1 in the season series against the Oilers while Tulsa went 2-6-0. The Mavericks were led by Jacob Hayhurst, who scored five goals, while Curry and Andreev each had eight points. Dante Sheriff led the way for the Oilers with six points (2g-4a).

Game 1 – Wednesday, April 17 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Kansas City
Game 2 – Thursday, April 18 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Kansas City
Game 3 – Friday, April 19 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Tulsa
Game 4 – Monday, April 22 at 7:10 p.m. CT at Tulsa
Game 5 – Thursday, April 25 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Tulsa (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Friday, April 26 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Kansas City (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Sunday, April 28 at 4:05 p.m. CT at Kansas City (If Necessary)

#2 Idaho Steelheads (48-20-4) vs. #3 Allen Americans (33-35-4)
Series Matchup Sheet

The defending Western Conference champion Steelheads have reached the postseason in 18 of 19 ECHL postseasons while Allen is in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. This is the fourth all-time playoff matchup between the teams with Idaho prevailing 4 games to 1 in the 2023 Mountain Division Finals and 4 games to 3 in the 2018 Mountain Division Finals while Allen came out on top 4 games to 3 in the 2016 Western Conference Quarterfinals.
 
Idaho was led during the regular season by ECHL Sportsmanship Award winner A.J. White who had 66 points (27g-39a) while Mark Rassell had a team-leading 32 goals in just 43 games, while spending most of the second half of the season in the American Hockey League. Matt Register, the ECHL all-time leader in postseason games played (146), was second among defensemen with 64 points (10g-54a) while Patrick Kudla was fourth with 60 points (10g-50a), with Kudla earning a spot on the All-ECHL First Team and Register on the All-ECHL Second Team.
 
Colby McAuley was Allen’s top offensive performer in the regular season with 25 goals and 63 points while Kris Myllari ranked seventh among defensemen with 48 points (11g-37a).
 
During the regular season, Idaho went 8-3-0 against the Americans with Allen going 3-7-1 against the Steelheads. Ty Pelton-Byce scored six goals to lead Idaho with Wade Murphy posting a team-best 15 points (5g-10a). Hank Crone paced the Americans with six goals and 13 points.

Game 1 – Monday, April 22 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho
Game 2 – Wednesday, April 24 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho
Game 3 – Friday, April 26 at 7:10 p.m. CT at Allen
Game 4 – Saturday, April 27 at 4:10 p.m. CT at Allen
Game 5 – Sunday, April 28 at 4:10 p.m. CT at Allen (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, April 30 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, May 1 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)
 

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