Chase for Kelly Cup 2018: R. 1 – Toledo Walleyes vs. Indy Fuel

Chase for Kelly Cup 2018: R. 1 – Toledo Walleyes vs. Indy Fuel The Chase for the Kelly Cup begins with a Round 1 matchup between the Toledo Walleyes and the Indy Fuel. Toledo finished first in the Central Division and had the second best record overall in the ECHL (105). They were one of just two teams that recorded at least 50 wins this season (the Florida Everblades have 53). Indy finished fourth in the division. Toledo won the season series 8-1-0-0.

Game 1 – Friday, April 13 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo
Game 2 – Sunday, April 15 at 5:15 p.m. ET at Toledo
Game 3 – Wednesday, April 18 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Indy
Game 4 – Thursday, April 19 at 7:05 p.m. ET at Indy
Game 5 – Saturday, April 21 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Indy (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, April 24 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, April 25 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo (If Necessary)

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

Toledo Walleyes:

Overall Record: 50-17-3-2 (2)
Home Record: 28-7-1-0 (T-2)
Away Record: 22-10-2-2 (3)
Last 10 Games: 8-2-0-0
Goals Scored: 242 (T-8)
Goals Allowed: 170 (2)
Power Play: 18.6% (5)
Penalty Killing: 87.0% (2)

Indy Fuel:

Overall Record: 36-30-5-1 (13)
Home Record: 20-14-2-0 (T-14)
Away Record: 16-16-3-1 (T-13)
Last 10 Games: 6-1-3-0
Goals Scored: 242 (T-8)
Goals Allowed: 248 (21)
Power Play: 22.8% (1)
Penalty Killing: 82.7% (19)

Walleyes Players to Watch:

Tyler Barnes: 66 games, 20 goals, 33 assists, 53 points; Kyle Bonis: 66 games, 27 goals, 24 assists, 51 points; Shane Berschbach: 59 games, 19 goals, 32 assists, 51 assists

Pat Nagle: 50 games, 37-6-3-1, 3 ShO, 2.23 GAA, .924 save percentage

Fuel Players to Watch:

Michael Neal: 66 games, 20 goals, 32 assists, 52 points; Darian Dziurzynski: 47 games, 24 goals, 22 assists, 46 points; Josh Shalla: 42 games, 28 goals, 22 assists, 50 points

Etienne Marcoux: 38 games, 22-12-1-1, 2.94 GAA, .918 save percentage; Matt Tomkins: 25 games, 11-9-2-0, 3.47 GAA, .912 save percentage

Analysis:

Offensively, these teams are evenly matched, as both teams scored 242 goals this season. The big difference is defensively, where Toledo is one of the best in the league, while Indy is a team in the middle of the pack. Pat Nagle led the ECHL in wins this season, and he is the kind of veteran who can steal a series on his own.

For Indy, they will be going with two rookies in net, which is not what you want this time of year, especially against one of the best goalies in the league. If the Fuel are going to have a chance, they are going to need to use that potent power-play to get themselves on top. The special teams are going to be the key if they are going to have any chance at all.

Chase for Kelly Cup 2018: R. 1 – Toledo Walleyes vs. Indy FuelWho Will Win:

Indy is no slouch, but they are not Toledo. The Walleyes have all the pieces to make a big run this post-season, and will likely face Florida in the Eastern Conference Finals. Take Toledo to win in six

By Robert Pannier

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