2022 Trois-Rivières vs Newfoundland Growlers

Four ECHL Divisional Semifinals Head To Game 7

Four ECHL Divisional Semifinals Head To Game 7

ECHL fans will have quite a night ahead of them on Tuesday with three first round series-deciding games to choose from followed by another on Wednesday.

May 3, 2022 by Mike Ashmore
Four ECHL Divisional Semifinals Head To Game 7

Game.  Seven.

They’re the two best words in sports, and fans who’ve been following the ECHL all season long on FloHockey will have quite a night ahead of them Tuesday with three first round series-deciding games to choose from followed by another Wednesday.

Trois-Rivieres and Newfoundland are up first at 7 p.m. NT on Tuesday night, having split the first six games.

Using the standard 2-3-2 series format, the Growlers held court at home as the higher seed in the first two games, winning 7-4 and 6-2, respectively, on April 22 and 23.  But the Lions came roaring back, taking two out of the three contests played in Quebec, and then winning a critical Game 6 on the road, getting two goals from former Cornell University standout Brenden Locke in a 7-4 win on Monday night.

Newfoundland has been getting some stellar play from those you’d expect. Tyler Boland, who was over a point-per-game player during a 19-game regular season stint with the Growlers, has potted six goals and four assists in his first 10 Kelly Cup Playoff games this year, while defenseman Ben Finkelstein leads all defensemen with six assists thus far.

For Trois-Rivieres, Phillippe Desrosiers has struggled this postseason – his .884 save percentage is fifth from the bottom for all goaltenders who’ve seen action in the playoffs this year – but he rebounded when the Lions needed him the most, stopping 33 of 37 shots on Monday to stave off elimination and send the series to Game 7.

Game 1 – Trois-Rivières 4 at NEWFOUNDLAND 7
Game 2 – Trois-Rivières 2 at NEWFOUNDLAND 6
Game 3 – Newfoundland 2 at TROIS-RIVIÈRES 3
Game 4 – NEWFOUNDLAND 5 at Trois-Rivières 2
Game 5 – Newfoundland 2 at TROIS-RIVIÈRES 3
Game 6 – TROIS-RIVIÈRES 7 at Newfoundland 4
Game 7 – Tuesday, May 3 at 7 p.m. NT at Newfoundland

Cincinnati Takes Toledo To The Limit

Starting at 7:35 p.m. ET is another Game 7 on the docket on FloHockey, and for many, it’s bit of a stunner that the series got this far in the first place.

The Toledo Walleye, the Brabham Cup winners as the best regular season team in the league, have therefore earned home ice in this one, and will seemingly need every advantage to fight off a scrappy Cyclones team that have impressed at every turn this postseason.

The first three games were decided by one goal, with Cincinnati taking 2-1 and then 3-2 series lead after a 2-0 home shutout in Game 5 that gave them a chance to close out the Walleye on Saturday night.  But Toledo fought back, with goaltender Billy Christopolous pitching an 18-save shutout of his own at the Huntington Center to extend the series to the full slate of potential games.

Michael Houser, who made 41 saves in a valiant effort for Cincinnati in Game 6 after being sent down from the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres earlier in the day, is reportedly unavailable for Tuesday night’s big showdown, with Sean Bonar, who earned the win in Game 2, set to get the start.

T.J. Hensick, who told FloHockey earlier this year that this season will likely be his last, has led the way for the Walleye, scoring three goals while adding six assists in the first games of the series.  

Game 1 – Cincinnati 2 at TOLEDO 3 (OT)
Game 2 – CINCINNATI 3 at Toledo 2
Game 3 – Toledo 5 at CINCINNATI 6 (OT)
Game 4 – TOLEDO 4 at Cincinnati 1
Game 5 – Toledo 0 at CINCINNATI 2
Game 6 – Cincinnati 0 at TOLEDO 3
Game 7 – Tuesday, May 3 at 7:35 p.m. ET at Toledo

Defending Champs On The Ropes

After four games where home ice has seemingly bean meaningless, Games 5 and 6 have been won by the home team, both one-goal games, including an overtime thriller on Monday night at Fort Wayne’s Memorial Coliseum that’s sent them to a decisive seventh game at 7:30 p.m. ET tonight.

The Komets won the Kelly Cup in semi-controversial fashion last year, serving as the league’s only team to join play after the season had already begun, and ended up playing less games than the other teams en route to their title.  There will be no potential asterisk if they should win it this year, especially being taken to the full seven games by a scrappy Wheeling team that swept the first two games in Fort Wayne.

Both Samuel Harvey and Louis Philip-Guindon have been excellent between the pipes; Harvey, the Komets netminder, has posted a .914 save percentage in his six starts this series, while Guindon has one-upped with a .929 mark in his six outings.

Wheeling forward Cam Hausinger tallied a hat trick in Monday’s overtime loss, and now leads all scorers in the Kelly Cup Playoffs with seven goals.

Game 1 – WHEELING 1 at Fort Wayne 0
Game 2 – WHEELING 4 at Fort Wayne 2
Game 3 – FORT WAYNE 4 at Wheeling 1
Game 4 – FORT WAYNE 4 at Wheeling 3 (OT)
Game 5 – Fort Wayne 2 at WHEELING 3
Game 6 – Wheeling 3 at FORT WAYNE 4 (OT)
Game 7 – Tuesday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Fort Wayne

League’s Tightest Division Produces Tight Series 

The Mountain Division has arguably been the most competitive all season from top to bottom, and has produced the league’s last series that will be headed to a Game 7, with puck drop set for 7:10 p.m. MT on Wednesday, exclusively on FloHockey.

Both the Oilers and Grizzlies have traded wins throughout the first six games of the series, something that would bode well for Utah if the trend continues.  Tulsa extended the division semifinals with a 4-2 win at the Maverik Center on Monday, with an extra day needed for travel pushing Game 7 to Wednesday, given the not-so-close proximity of the two teams.

Mason Mannek scored what was ultimately the game-winner at the 14:45 mark of the third period on the power play in Game 6, with Ethan Stewart’s late empty-netter serving as an insurance goal.

Utah has been buoyed yet again by Charle-Edouard D’Astous, the league’s reigning defenseman of the year, who is leading all blueliners with 10 points thus far in the Kelly Cup Playoffs and is tied for the league lead with Hausinger with seven goals.

Game 1 – Tulsa 3 at UTAH 6
Game 2 – TULSA 5 at Utah 3
Game 3 – UTAH 2 at Tulsa 1
Game 4 – Utah 3 at TULSA 4
Game 5 – UTAH 5 at Tulsa 1
Game 6 – TULSA 4 at Utah 2
Game 7 – Wednesday, May 4 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Utah