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Eastern Conference Finals Preview

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Newfoundland Growlers vs. Florida Everblades
Series Matchup Sheet


For the second time in the last three postseasons, the Newfoundland Growlers and Florida Everblades meet with a spot in the Kelly Cup Finals on the line. Newfoundland defeated Florida 4 games to 1 in the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals.
 
Newfoundland has won each of its six all-time series in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, and in 2019, became the first team since Greensboro in 1990 to win the ECHL title in its first season of existence. The Growlers have gone to seven games in each of their first two series in the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs, defeating Trois-Rivières in the North Division Semifinals and Reading in the North Division Finals. In the latter series, Newfoundland became the eighth team in ECHL history to win a best-of-seven series after trailing 3-1, and just the second team to win Games 6 and 7 of a series on the road. The Growlers are tops in the postseason with 4.08 goals per game, and rank third allowing 27.07 shots per game.
 
Tyler Boland (12g-8a) and Ben Finkelstein (5g-15a) lead Newfoundland in the playoffs with 20 points each. Boland’s 12 goals are second overall in the postseason while his 20 points are second among rookies. Keith Petruzzelli, who was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team and the All-ECHL Second Team, leads all goaltenders in the playoffs with 742 minutes played and is second with 306 saves. He is 8-5 with a 2.99 goals-against average and a save percentage of .892 in 14 postseason appearances.
 
Florida is appearing in the Conference Finals for the seventh time in team history. The Everblades have advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals four times (2004, 2005, 2012 and 2018), capturing the Kelly Cup title in 2012. Florida defeated Greenville 4 games to 2 in the South Division Semifinals and Jacksonville 4 games to 0 in the South Division Finals. The Everblades feature the top defense through two rounds in the playoffs, allowing 2.00 goals per game.
 
Florida is led through two round by Joe Pendenza, who has 11 points (4g-7a) while Matteo Gennaro has scored a team-leading five goals. Cam Johnson has gone 7-1 in eight postseason appearances and ranks second with a 1.38 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage. Johnson posted three shutouts in four games against Jacksonville in the South Division Finals and has allowed one goal or less in five of his eight appearances. The three shutouts are tied for fourth in a single postseason in ECHL history.
 
The winner of the Eastern Conference Finals receives the E.A. “Bud” Gingher Memorial Trophy. The trophy is named in recognition of E.A. “Bud” Gingher, who was Chairman of the ECHL Board of Governors from 1992-95. Gingher, who passed away in 2002, co-founded the Dayton Bombers in 1991 and owned the team for seven seasons, serving as President and Governor until selling the team in 1998. Gingher was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2009.

Game 1 – Friday, May 20 at 7 p.m. NT at Newfoundland
Game 2 – Sunday, May 22 at 7 p.m. NT at Newfoundland
Game 3 – Wednesday, May 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida
Game 4 – Friday, May 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Florida
Game 5 – Saturday, May 28 at 7 p.m. ET at Florida (If Necessary)
Game 6 – Tuesday, May 31 at 7 p.m. NT at Newfoundland (If Necessary)
Game 7 – Wednesday, June 1 at 7 p.m. NT at Newfoundland (If Necessary)