The Central Division was a tough one this season with every team having a .500 winning percentage or better, but Indy Fuel the Wheeling Nailers had their season end early. The Cincinnati Cyclones were not only able to win the division, but they also clinched the Brabham Cup allowing them home-ice advantage in every round they advance. Let’s take a look at the matchups, players to watch, and my predictions.
#1 Cincinnati Cyclones vs #4 Kalamazoo Wings
Regular Season Series: Cincinnati 9-1-1
Players to watch:
Cincinnati: G-Michael Houser 29-7-4-1 2.13 GAA .922 SV%
F-Jesse Schultz 22G 58A 80 Points, ECHL Scoring Title Winner
D-Eric Knodel 17G 36A 53 Points 38 +/-
Kalamazoo: F- Chris Collins 28G 37A 65 Points, Rookie of the Year
F-Tanner Sorenson 22G 42A 64 Points
F- Reid Gardiner 28G 27A 53 Points
Prediction: Cincinnati Cyclones 4-0. I’ve had the pleasure of watching both teams numerous times over the season. Kalamazoo is extremely quick and skilled, but Cincinnati has it all. The Cyclones have great physical defensemen, an extraordinary goalie, and can score at will sometimes. If Kalamazoo wants to prove me wrong they need to set the tone early by scoring and playing physical.
#2 Toledo Walleye vs #3 Fort Wayne Komets
Season Series: Toledo 6-2-3
Players to watch:
Toledo: F-Shane Berschbach 20G 43A 63 Points
F-Dylan Sadowy 23G 23A 46 Points
D-Matt Register 12G 34A 46 Points
Prediction: Fort Wayne in 7. This one was a hard one to pick because the Komets have been struggling the past couple weeks. They gave up a 4-1 lead in Wheeling and 3-0 at home to the Indy Fuel in their last few games, but they were able to finish the season on a 3 game winning streak. They have tons of offensive talent, but their goalie situation is what could cost them this series. The Walleye have just as much talent and could easily make this series short-lived. They have a great goaltender in Pat Nagle, but there are times the defense slacks. This will be a great series to watch.
Featured Photo Credit: ECHL.com
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