BOSTON, MA -- We've reached the Second Round of the 2019 Eastern Hockey League (EHL) Playoffs. The countdown to Providence puts us at just over a week away from the EHL Frozen Finals, with four tickets set to be punched in the next six days.
By the end of this week we'll now exactly what teams are set to face-off next week at Schneider Arena.
Be sure to scroll down to view the full schedule for the Second Round of the EHL Playoffs.
Prior to the start of the Second Round, the remaining four teams within each respective conference were reseeded based off of the conference standings. Similar to the First Round, all Second Round matchups will be best-of-three series with home ice being determined by the EHL Operating Rules.
New England Conference
#1 New Hampshire Avalanche vs. #4 Boston Jr. Rangers
#2 East Coast Wizards vs. #3 Vermont Lumberjacks
Getting underway first in the New England Conference is the matchup between the Wizards and the Lumberjacks. During the regular season, these two squads faced-off just twice, with each team winning on home ice. The Second Round series is a rematch of last year's First Round matchup, that the Wizards won 2-0. All three games for this series are set to take place at The Edge Sports Center, due to the league's mileage rule.
Each team has a number of players to watch, starting with Mason Emoff and Cory Doney for the Lumberjacks. Both players are expected to earn All-Conference honors this season, while Emoff is also up for the EHL MVP award, and Doney is a candidate for the Defenseman of the Year honor.
As for the Wizards, they own a top defenseman in Luke Pepin. Also, between the pipes Korbinian Lutz was a difference maker in the playoff series last year. Up front, the Wizards feature a balanced scoring attack, lea by the recently-committed Trent Pitser.
Flipping over to the other matchup in the New England Conference, and we get the two teams that advanced last season to Providence. Of course, only one team will make it back this year, and the Avalanche controlled the regular season series by winning five the six matchups. Every matchup between the rivals was tightly contested, with the most recent battle requiring overtime to determine a winner.
For the Rangers, Connor Galloway played the key role on offense in the First Round, as his three goals helped propel his team into this position. Between the pipes, Billy Girard got the call in both games against the Seahawks Hockey Club, but he will alternate with his counterpart Aiden Curry in this series.
As for the defending EHL Champions, the Avalanche feature a deep lineup that is anchored by Nathan Pickett between the pipes. Working our way up from there, and New Hampshire has pair of All-Star defensemen in Niks Krollis and Kyler Harding.
Continuing our way towards the front, and the forwards are led by the pairing of Jake Adkins and Wiggle Kerbrat, #21 and #22 respectively on the scoresheet.
#1 Philadelphia Little Flyers vs. #4 Philadelphia Revolution
#2 New Jersey 87s vs. #3 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
Moving down south and we get another matchup between two opponents that each advanced to Providence last season. The Little Flyers ripped their way to a 40-3-1 record in the regular season, and that included a 4-1-0 mark against their rival.
The 2018-19 Regular Season Champions are anchored Brendahn Brawley between the pipes. as the '98 is a candidate for both the MVP and Goalie of the Year awards. As for the rest of the lineup, you can't find too many weak spots, especially with a plethora of scorers that include the likes of Austin Master, Bryce Witman, Kyle Scott, and Mikey Giampapa, just to name a few. The Little Flyers are looking to make history over the next week and half, and that journey begins this afternoon at 2:00pm this afternoon.
As for the Revolution, it can be argued that no team has faced more adversity throughout the year. The number of injuries the Revolution have battled through continues to rise, but the team also keeps chugging along.
Between the pipes, the play of Logan Kramsky has been superb, and the Revolution will need him to continue to lead the way in this series. Up front, the scoring trio of Samir Abouelhana, Justin Meers, and Jake Russo will need to capitalize in order for the Revolution to match the high-powered offense of the Little Flyers.
Last, but certainly not least, is divisional showdown between the Knights and the 87s. While the 87s won their division with some comfort, they did encounter a number of battles with the Knights. In the regular season, New Jersey won three of the five matchups, but every game was tight heading into the 3rd period.
For the 87s, they will need to shake-off any bye week rust quickly, as they will lean on scorers such as Jack McDonough, Jack Lane, and Daniels Leja.
Meanwhile on the back end, Trevor Cear will likely play big minutes for his team in this series, and Dalton Jerzak will look to show no signs of youth when the puck is dropped. The majority of goaltenders that remain in action are either '98 or '99 birth years, making Jerzak the only starting netminder that was born in 2000.
As for the Knights, they feature their own group of scorers that includes Anthony Starzi. Hunter Bersani, Matt Mood, and Cody Rumsey. Working backwards from there, and you run into Matt Passaretti with the defensive core, and then the veteran Thomas Walker between the pipes.
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