The Sin Bin’s Kelly Cup Playoff coverage is brought to you by Kalwei Law Firm
The Utah Grizzlies are coming off the biggest upset of the first round, defeating the Pacific Division Champion Idaho Steelheads 4 games to 2. Meanwhile, the Ontario Reign were taken to the distance in round 1 against the Colorado Eagles, winning that series 4 games to 3.
These two teams are meeting for the second time in three seasons. In 2013, the Reign swept the Grizzlies 4 games to 0 to advance to the western conference semifinals.
Final Regular Season Records:
Ontario: 43-19-4-6 (96 pts)
Utah: 37-27-5-3 (82 pts)
Game Schedule (Home Team in BOLD CAPS and All Times Local):
Game 1 – Sun, May 3 — Utah at ONTARIO 3:00 pm
Game 2 – Mon, May 4 — Utah at ONTARIO 7:00 pm
Game 3 – Wed, May 6 — Ontario at UTAH 7:00 pm
Game 4 – Fri, May 8 — Ontario at UTAH 7:10 pm
*Game 5 – Sat, May 9 — Ontario at UTAH 7:00 pm
*Game 6 – Tue, May 12 — Utah at ONTARIO 7:00 pm
*Game 7 – Wed, May 13 — Utah at ONTARIO 7:10 pm
*= If Necessary
Season Series Recap: Ontario won the season series with a record of 6-3-2. Seven of the 11 matchups between the two teams were settled by a margin of one goal or less.
Leading Scorers: Defenseman Matt Register was the leading scorer for the Reign during their season series, with 8 points (2G, 6A.) For Utah, Mathieu Aubin led the team in scoring with 7 points (2G, 5A.)
Thru one round of the playoffs, Judd Blackwater and Matt Register lead the Reign with 8 points (4G, 4A) each; while Ryan Hayes leads all players with 10 points (5G, 5A.)
Ontario Fact:The Reign feature the second best power play in the ECHL. In their round against the Colorado Eagles, Ontario went 8 for 35 on the man advantage (22.9% efficiency.)
Utah Fact: The Grizzlies have not lost in regulation in the Kelly Cup Finals.
How Ontario Wins: Except for the trio of Blackwater/Register/White, who account for 13 goals, there has been a dearth of goal scoring through rest of the roster, with the other 15 position players accounting for just 10 goals. The Reign will have to play smarter. In round 1, the Reign were took 36 penalties and gave up 8 power play goals.
How Utah Wins: It all starts with Igor Bobkov in goal, who has been on a roll lately. Bobkov is 4th among playoff netminders with a 2.12 goals against average and 2nd with a .941 save percentage. The Grizzlies have been solid offensively so far, getting great contributions from Ryan Hayes, Michael Pelech, Brenden Walker, T.J. Syner and Mathieu Aubin, all of whom have point-per-game performances so far. If Bobkov can keep playing well in net, and the Grizzlies continue getting solid offensive performances, the Grizzlies have a great chance.
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