The Sin Bin’s Kelly Cup Playoff Coverage is presented by Kalwei Law Firm

Who could’ve seen this coming? The top two teams during the regular season, both finishing with 100+ points, will need a Game 7 to decide who will earn the right to call themselves North Division Champions and move onto the Eastern Conference Finals. If Toledo was to advance, it would be the first time in Walleye history they’ve moved onto the Conference Finals, and the first time since for the city of Toledo since the Toledo Storm surpassed the feat in 2006. Also, it would be the third straight year an Ohio team was represented in the Conference Finals; Cincinnati did so in 2013 and 2014. For Fort Wayne, it would be their first trip to the Conference Finals since joining the ECHL in 2012-2013.

Game 5 proved to be no different from the first four games of this series. It was another goaltending battle between two very hot goalies, Toledo’s Jeff Lerg, and Fort Wayne’s Pat Nagle. In fact, Pat Nagle currently leads the entire ECHL in goals against average with a GAA of 1.74 and a record of 3-1 to accompany it. Toledo’s infamous line of Troy Schwab, Shane Bershbach, and Tyler Barnes led the way again for the Walleye. Toledo defeated the Komets in this one by a count of 3-2 to take a 3-2 edge in the series. The Schwab-Bershbach-Barnes line was involved with all 3 Toledo goals. Each line member striking once. Strikes from Komet captain, Kaleigh Shrock and Komets playoff point leader, Mike Embach were not enough to hold off Toledo.

With a chance to put this series to bed, Toledo got quite a rude awakening in Game 6. One Komet that has really impressed is Brett Perlini. He led the way for Fort Wayne with the game opening strike and the game winning strike. I’m going to be straight up honest with you here, folks. The scoreboard does not dictate how lopsided Game 6 really was. Fort Wayne absolutely dominated from beginning to end. Despite a last minute (literally) tally from Martin Frk to tie the game with 18 seconds left on the clock, this game did not deserve to go into double overtime. The shot clock tells most of the story of how one sided it got at times. At the end of the day, Fort Wayne out-shot Toledo 56-31 through the course of regulation and the extra session. Toledo was expecting Fort Wayne to just roll over and die, and the Komets ambushed them with a surprise attack to force Game 7. If not for goaltender, Neil Conway, this game could’ve easily been 5 or 6-1 Fort Wayne. Final score was 2-1 in favor of the Komets.

Quite clearly, heading into Game 7, the momentum is heavily with the Komets. But, they’ve got a hell of a monkey to get off their back if Fort Wayne was to advance further in the postseason. Here is an astonishing stat including both regular season and playoffs: Throughout the entire 2014-2015 campaign, Fort Wayne has never won a game inside the Huntington Center in  Toledo. The Komets have a combined record of 0-5 when inside the Huntington Center. However, the Komets have in fact won a game in Toledo… but, not in the Huntington Center. When the Walleye and Komets took it outdoors for Winterfest at Fifth/Third Field in Toledo is the one time the Komets have beaten the Walleye in Toledo.

I mentioned it earlier, the Walleye’s key to success in Game 7 is the line of Schwab, Bershbach, and Barnes. The chemistry between these guys is insane because, combined in this entire playoff campaign, the trio have accumulated 15 goals, 27 assists, and 42 points. If Fort Wayne wants to win this bad boy, it is an absolute must to shut this line down.

If you’re not a fan of either team, you’re loving this. If you’re a fan of one team, this is a panic attack waiting to happen. Game 7 gets away from the Huntington Center in Downtown Toledo on Wednesday night at 7:35pm EST.

WARNING: I’m about to take a look past Game 7 and into the next round. If you’re a superstitious person and don’t want any part of that. You should probably stop reading this now…

Okay, have it your way, but don’t say I didn’t warn you…

There’s always that part deep down inside of you that kind of, sort of wants to know what it’s going to be like if you advance further. Well, thanks to the South Carolina Stingrays, we have those answers for you. On Monday night, the Stingrays bounced the #1 seeded Florida Everblades with a 5-2 win in Game 6 advancing them to the Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth time as they await the winner of Fort Wayne & Toledo.  No matter what, South Carolina will have “road ice advantage” as both Fort Wayne and Toledo finished the regular season with more points than the Stingrays.

Here are the Eastern Conference Final Schedule scenarios (**If necessary):
Scenario #1 – Toledo vs South Carolina
Game 1 – Friday May 15th, 2015 @ Toledo – 7:35pm EST
Game 2 – Saturday May 16th, 2015 @ Toledo – 8:05pm EST
Game 3 – Wednesday May 20th, 2015 @ South Carolina – 7:05pm EST
Game 4 – Friday May 22nd, 2015 @ South Carolina – 7:05pm EST
**Game 5 – Saturday May 23rd, 2015 @ South Carolina – 7:05pm EST
**Game 6 – Tuesday May 26th, 2015 @ Toledo – 7:35pm EST
**Game 7 – Wednesday May 27th, 2015 @ Toledo – 7:35pm EST

Scenario #2 – Fort Wayne vs South Carolina 
Game 1 -Friday May 15th, 2015 @ Fort Wayne – 8:05pm EST
Game 2 – Sunday May 17th, 2015 @ Fort Wayne – 6:05pm EST
Game 3 – Wednesday May 20th, 2015 @ South Carolina – 7:05pm EST
Game 4 – Friday May 22nd, 2015 @ South Carolina – 7:05pm EST
**Game 5 – Saturday May 23rd, 2015 @ South Carolina – 7:05pm EST
**Game 6 – Monday May 25th, 2015 @ Fort Wayne – 7:35pm EST
**Game 7 – Tuesday May 26th, 2015 @ Fort Wayne – 7:35pm EST

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