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Western Conference Finals Preview

Thursday, May 16th
Western Conference Finals Preview

Western Conference Finals (Best of Seven)

Kansas City Mavericks vs. Toledo Walleye
Series Matchup Sheet

The top two teams in the ECHL regular season meet to represent the Western Conference in the 2024 Kelly Cup Finals. Kansas City captured the Brabham Cup as regular-season champion with an overall record of 54-12-6 for 114 points while Toledo was 48-14-9 for 105 points.
 
Kansas City is appearing the Conference Finals for the first time in its 10 ECHL seasons while Toledo has advanced to the Conference Finals in four consecutive postseasons (2019, 2022, 2023, 2024) and for the sixth time in the last eight postseasons.
 
The Mavericks set an ECHL record with 29 road wins in the regular season (29-4-3) and led the league with 4.24 goals per game and finished third with 2.81 goals-against per game. Kansas City has carried that success over to the Kelly Cup Playoffs, posting a 5-0 record on the road and ranking third with 3.78 goals per game.
 
Kansas City reaches the third round off of a 4-0 victory over Tulsa in the Mountain Division Semifinals and a 4-1 win against Idaho in the Mountain Division Finals. Patrick Curry leads the Mavericks, and is tied for fifth overall in the playoffs, with 12 points (6g-6a) in nine games. Jack LaFontaine and Cale Morris have split time in goal for Kansas City with LaFontaine going 3-1 while leading the playoffs with a .944 save percentage and ranking sixth with a 2.16 goals-against average with Morris posting a 5-0 record and ranking 12th with a 2.60 goals-against average.
 
The Walleye are in the midst of a historic run, with 22 consecutive wins (14 regular-season games and eight playoff games), the longest winning streak spanning the regular season and postseason in ECHL history. Toledo’s eight-game playoff winning streak is tied for the fourth longest all-time. The Walleye top the playoffs in both goals per game (4.38) and goals-against per game (2.13).
 
Toledo comes off four-game victories over Kalamazoo and Wheeling in the opening two rounds of the playoffs, marking the second straight season that the Walleye have reached the Conference Finals with eight consecutive wins. Riley Sawchuk is tied for the playoff lead through two rounds with seven goals and is tied for eighth overall with 11 points along with two teammates – Sam Craggs (6g-5a) and Brandon Hawkins (5g-6a). Hawkins, who was named ECHL Most Valuable Player this season, leads the playoffs with 74 shots on goal and is tied for first with three game-winning goals. Like the Mavericks, the Walleye have used a time-share in net with John Lethemon ranking third with a 1.90 goals-against average and Jan Bednar seventh with a 2.20 goals-against average, with each appearing in four games.
 
The winner of the Western Conference Finals receives the Bruce Taylor Trophy. The trophy is named in recognition of Bruce Taylor, who was the founding father of the West Coast Hockey League. In the early 1990s, Taylor purchased teams in Fresno, Reno and Bakersfield and in 1995 joined them with teams in Anchorage, Fairbanks and San Diego to form the West Coast Hockey League. The Taylor Cup was presented to the playoff champion in the WCHL from the league’s inaugural season in 1995-96 until the league ceased operations following the 2002-03 season. Taylor’s ownership in hockey began in 1983 with the purchase of the Burnaby Bluehawks of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League and continued with the purchase of the Richmond Sockeyes in the BCJHL and the New Westminster Royals in the BCJHL.

Game 1 - Friday, May 17 at 7:15 p.m. ET at Toledo
Game 2 - Saturday, May 18 at 7:15 p.m. ET at Toledo
Game 3 - Monday, May 20 at 7:15 p.m. ET at Toledo
Game 4 - Friday, May 24 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Kansas City
Game 5 - Saturday, May 25 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Kansas City (If Necessary)
Game 6 - Monday, May 27 at 4:05 p.m. CT at Kansas City (If Necessary)
Game 7 - Wednesday, May 29 at 7:05 p.m. CT at Kansas City (If Necessary)

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