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Preview of 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs Division Finals

Thursday, May 2nd
Preview of 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs Division Finals

North Division Finals 
 
#1 Adirondack Thunder vs. #2 Norfolk Admirals
Series Matchup Sheet
 
Adirondack and Norfolk meet in the postseason for the first time, with a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals on the line.
 
The Thunder come into the Division Finals on the heels of a seven-game victory over Maine in the opening round. Tristan Ashbrook led Adirondack in the first round with five goals and seven points, while Isaac Poulter has strong in net, posting three shutouts in his six appearances. Poulter leads the playoffs with a 1.02 goals-against average and ranks second with a .958 save percentage.
 
Norfolk eliminated Trois-Rivières 4 games to 2 to win in its first playoff appearance since joining the ECHL in 2015. Carson Musser (3g-3a), Austen Keating (2g-4a) and Danny Katic (1g-5a) all recorded six points in the opening round for the Admirals while Yaniv Perets went 3-2 with a 3.26 goals-against average in his five appearances during the series.
 
During the regular season, Adirondack went 3-4-1 against the Admirals while Norfolk was 5-3-0 against the Thunder. Ashbrook led the Thunder with four goals with Yushiroh Hirano posting a team-best eight points (1g-7a). Katic scored six goals in the head-to-head series for Norfolk while Stepan Timofeyev was the top point producer with 11 points (3g-8a).
 
Game 1 - Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack
Game 2 - Saturday, May 4 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack
Game 3 - Wednesday, May 8 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Norfolk
Game 4 - Friday, May 10 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Norfolk
Game 5 – Saturday, May 11 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Norfolk (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, May 14 at 7 p.m. ET at Adirondack (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, May 15 at 7:10 p.m. ET at Adirondack (If Necessary)
 
South Division Finals 
 
#3 Florida Everblades vs. #4 Orlando Solar Bears
Series Matchup Sheet
 
Sunshine State rivals Florida and Orlando meet in the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the fifth time in the last nine postseasons, with the two-time defending Kelly Cup champion Everblades prevailing in each of the four prior matchups.
 
Florida became the ninth team in ECHL postseason history to rally from a 3-1 deficit in its opening-round victory against Jacksonville, while also becoming just the third team to win both Games 6 and 7 of a series on the road. The Everblades have won nine consecutive playoff series, tied with the Allen Americans (2015-17) for the longest streak in ECHL history. Sean Josling led Florida in the Division Semifinals with six points (3g-3a) while Cam Johnson, the two-time defending June M. Kelly Most Valuable Player recipient, ranks fifth with a 1.95 goals-against average.
 
Orlando, which secured its playoff spot on the final day of the regular season, defeated South Division regular-season champion Greenville in six games in the opening round, winning three of its four games in overtime. Spencer Kersten is tied for the playoff lead with six goals and is tied for fifth with eight points. Evan Fitzpatrick played all six games in goal for the Solar Bears posting a 2.50 goals-against average and a save percentage of .929. Fitzpatrick made 32 or more saves in five of the six games, including a pair of outings of at least 43 saves.
 
In the regular-season meetings, Florida went 7-5-1 against the Solar Bears with Orlando posting a 6-6-1 record against the Everblades. Joe Pendenza led the Everblades against Orlando with six goals and 11 points with Johnson going 5-3-1 with a 2.41 goals-against average. Tyler Bird and Alex Frye both scored four goals for the Solar Bears in the season series with Brayden Low picking up a team-high nine points (2g-7a).
 
Game 1 - Friday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida
Game 2 - Saturday, May 4 at 7 p.m. ET at Florida
Game 3 - Tuesday, May 7 at 7 p.m. ET at Orlando
Game 4 - Thursday, May 9 at 7 p.m. ET at Orlando
Game 5 – Sunday, May 12 at 3 p.m. ET at Orlando (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, May 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)
 
Central Division Finals 
 
#1 Toledo Walleye vs. #3 Wheeling Nailers
Series Matchup Sheet


Wheeling and Toledo meet in the Central Division Finals for the second time in three years after the Walleye prevailed 4 games to 0 in 2022. This series marks the seventh all-time ECHL postseason meeting between Toledo and Wheeling with Toledo coming out on top in five of the previous six.


Toledo defeated Kalamazoo in four games in the opening round, running its winning streak to 18 games, which is tied with the 2007 Las Vegas Wranglers for the longest winning streak - including playoffs - in ECHL history. Brandon Hawkins, who led the ECHL in scoring during the regular season and earned league Most Valuable Player honors, led the Walleye in the first round with eight points (2g-6a). John Lethemon and Jan Bednar both earned a pair of victories against Kalamazoo, with Lethemon ranking fifth with a 1.97 goals-against average while Bednar is tied for sixth at 2.00.
 
Wheeling dispatched Indy 4 games to 1 in its first series, winning the final four games by a combined score of 17-5. Jordan Martel (4g-5a) and Justin Addamo (3g-6a) both had a team-best nine points against the Fuel while Justin Lee is tied for second among defensemen with six points (1g-5a). Jaxon Castor played all five games for the Nailers and is tied for fifth with a 2.00 goals-against average and is tied for ninth with a .931 save percentage.
 
The Walleye went 2-1-1 against Wheeling in the regular season with the Nailers going 2-2-0. Three of the four games in the season series were decided by one goal, with the fourth game being a two-goal contest. Brandon Kruse led Toledo with four goals and shared the points lead with Hawkins with five each. David Jankowski and Matt Koopman both scored a pair of goals for Wheeling against the Walleye in the regular season with Jankowski posting a team-best five points.
 
Game 1 - Friday, May 3 at 7:15 p.m. ET at Toledo
Game 2 - Saturday, May 4 at 7:15 p.m. ET at Toledo
Game 3 - Wednesday, May 8 at 7:10 p.m. ET at Wheeling
Game 4 - Friday, May 10 at 7:10 p.m. ET at Wheeling
Game 5 - Saturday, May 11 at 7:10 p.m. ET at Wheeling (If Necessary)
Game 6 - Monday, May 13 at 7:10 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)
Game 7 - Tuesday, May 14 at 7:10 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)

Mountain Division Finals 
 
#1 Kansas City Mavericks vs. Idaho Steelheads
Series Matchup Sheet
 
The two highest-scoring teams in the ECHL during the regular season meet in the Mountain Division Finals. Kansas City led the league with 4.24 goals per game while Idaho ranked second with 4.21 goals per game.
 
The Mavericks captured the Brabham Cup as the top team in the regular season and have reached the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2016 after defeating Tulsa 4 games to 0 in the Mountain Division Semifinals. Patrick Curry led Kansas City against the Oilers with three goals and five points while Jack LaFontaine and Cale Morris combined to allow just six goals in four games.
 
The Steelheads carried over their high-powered offense from the regular season, scoring 22 goals in their 4 games to 1 win over Allen. Ty Pelton-Byce leads the playoffs after one round with 12 points (3g-9a) while Mark Rassell is tied for second with five goals. Veteran defenseman Matt Register needs one point to set a new ECHL record for most career playoff points, as he enters the second round with 117 points, tied with Phil Berger for the most in league postseason history.
 
Kansas City went 4-1-1 in the regular season against the Steelheads while Idaho was 2-3-1 against Kansas City. The road team combined to win five of the six games in the season series, with four of the six games decided by one goal. Curry led the Mavericks with six goals while Max Andreev posted a team-leading nine points (3g-6a). Idaho was led by Keaton Mastrodonato’s five goals and A.J. White’s seven points (2g-5a).
 
Game 1 - Saturday, May 4 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Kansas City
Game 2 - Sunday, May 5 at 4:05 p.m. CT at Kansas City
Game 3 - Wednesday, May 8 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho
Game 4 - Friday, May 10 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho
Game 5 - Saturday, May 11 at 3:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)
Game 6 - Tuesday, May 14 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Kansas City (If Necessary)
Game 7 - Wednesday, May 15 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Kansas City (If Necessary)
 

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