Chase for Kelly Cup 2018: R. 1 – Fort Wayne Komets vs. Cincinnati Cyclones

Chase for Kelly Cup 2018: R. 1 – Fort Wayne Komets vs. Cincinnati Cyclones The Chase for the Kelly Cup begins with a Round 1 matchup between the Fort Wayne Komets and the Cincinnati Cyclones. Fort Wayne finished second in the Central Division with 98 points, 17 ahead of the Cyclones. Cincinnati won the season series between these two teams, 5-4-0-0.

Game 1 – Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne
Game 2 – Sunday, April 15 at 6 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne
Game 3 – Thursday, April 19 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati
Game 4 – Saturday, April 21 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Cincinnati
Game 5 – Sunday, April 22 at 3:05 p.m. ET at Cincinnati (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne (If Necessary)

Statistics Comparison (Numbers in Parenthesis are ranking in the ECHL)

Fort Wayne Komets:

Overall Record: 46-20-5-1 (5)
Home Record: 25-7-3-1 (4)
Away Record: 21-13-2-0 (6)
Last 10 Games: 4-4-2-0
Goals Scored: 290 (1)
Goals Allowed: 216 (9)
Power Play: 181% (9)
Penalty Killing: 84.0% (12)

Cincinnati Cyclones:

Overall Record: 39-30-3-0 (11)
Home Record: 21-12-3-0 (9)
Away Record: 18-18-0-0 (13)
Last 10 Games: 4-5-1-0
Goals Scored: 226 (14)
Goals Allowed: 220 (10)
Power Play: 20.1% (2)
Penalty Killing: 76.7% (26)

Komets Players to Watch:

Shawn Szydlowski: 64 games, 31 goals, 48 assists, 79 points; Garrett Thompson: 67 games, 29 goals, 42 assists, 71 points; Gabriel Desjardins: 58 games, 33 goals, 34 assists, 67 points

Michael Houser: 45 games, 28-11-4-0, 2 ShO, 2.73 GAA, .909 save percentage; Garrett Bartus: 27 games, 17-6-0-1, ShO, 2.85 GAA, .903 save percentage

Cyclones Players to Watch:

Jesse Schultz: 72 games, 18 goals, 57 assists, 75 points; Justin Danforth: 44 games, 28 goals, 31 assists, 59 points; Eric Knodel: 57 games, 13 goals, 39 assists, 52 points

Jason Kasdorf: 28 games, 13-11-1-0, ShO, 3.04 GAA, .903 save percentage; Jonas Johansson: 27 games, 14-11-1-0, 3.13 GAA, .909 save percentage

Anaylsis:

Fort Wayne could very well be the best team in the West, and should be the biggest challenge for the Colorado Eagles who are looking to grab the Kelly Cup in their last season in the ECHL. This is a team that is going to beat you by taking advantage of your mistakes and putting them in the net. Ten players on this team have at least 11 goals, and they will get production from all three of their lines. Few teams can match that kind of productivity. Add to it the fact that they played pretty well defensively and have a solid goaltender and this is a Kelly Cup championship caliber team.

Cincinnati is not intimidated by Fort Wayne after winning the season series, but they must take advantage of their potent power-play if they are going to have a shot of ending the season for the Komets. That’s a tall task, because they simply don’t have the goaltending to match up with Fort Wayne. Their penalty killing better improve quickly if they are going have any shot in the series.

Chase for Kelly Cup 2018: R. 1 – Fort Wayne Komets vs. Cincinnati CyclonesWho Will Win:

The Cyclones strength is also their weakness. They are exceptional on the power-play, but terrible killing penalties. That’s not a good combination, especially considering Fort Wayne is solid in both. This will be a tight series as each game should be close, but the Fort Wayne Komets will win in five.

By Robert Pannier

 

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