Central Division Semifinal Game #6
Kalamazoo (2-3-0-0) at Cincinnati (3-2-0-0)
Listen: 1660 The Fan
Fans are invited to head over to Old Burdick’s at Wings West to catch Tuesday night’s Game 6. An official watch party for the game will kick off at 7:00pm, with puck drop following at 7:35pm.
Last Time Out:
Brendan Bradley scored in the opening minute of the second period and Jake Hildebrand stopped 20 shots as the K-Wings topped the Cyclones on Saturday night, forcing a Game 6. Kalamazoo opened the scoring for the fourth time in the five game series in the first period as Tanner Sorenson scored his first goal of the postseason. On the power play, Sorenson deflected a Kyle Bushee shot in front of the net past Michael Houser to give Kalamazoo a 1-0 lead at the 13:11 mark of the opening period. Still with a one-goal lead in the opening minute of the second period the K-Wings doubled the lead. Brendan Bradley walked across the top of the circle before wristing a shot into the top corner. Bradley's goal just 0:42 into the period would go on to serve as the game-winner. Cincinnati would draw within a single goal late in the second, but the K-Wings would shut down the Cyclone offense in the third, limiting Cincinnati to only three shots on goal, all stopped by Hildebrand. The K-Wing goaltender finished the night with his second victory of the playoffs, stopping 20 of 21 shots. The K-Wings skated out with the 2-1 victory, bringing the series to 3-2, and forcing a Game 6.
Game 6 History:
Since joining the ECHL the K-Wings have only seen a playoff series head to Game 6 on three different occasions. In their three trips to Game 6 the K-Wings have only played one of those games away from the comfort of Wings Event Center. Kalamazoo holds a perfect 3-0 record in Game 6s since joining the ECHL with the last Game 6 coming during the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs when the K-Wings topped the Toledo Walleye 4-3 at Wings Event Center to force a Game 7.
Back on the Board:
The K-Wing power play got back on the board on Saturday night, scoring for the fifth time so far in the first round series. Kalamazoo's power play unit is now 5-for-26 (19.2%) in the series and ranks ninth among all ECHL post season teams. Five different players have scored on the man-advantage for the K-Wings so far in the series. On the other side the Cyclones have the fifth ranked power play in the ECHL so far in the playoffs converting on 24% of chances (6-for-25).
After the first five games of the series the K-Wings have seen 14 of the 20 skaters used in the season series. In addition ten of the 20 skaters have found the back of the net, scoring at least one goal through the first five games. Chris Collins and Kyle Thomas are the only skaters that have recorded more than a single goal so far in the series for the K-Wings. Additionally ten different players have notched two points or more so far in the series.
Hildebrand's Strong Playoff:
Jake Hildebrand collected his second victory of the playoffs in just his third start on Saturday night stopping 20 of 21 shots for the K-Wings. Hildebrand ranks fourth among all goalies who have played at least two games in the postseason in goals against average, posting a 1.96 GAA. In addition the netminder has added a .926 save percentage, placing him just outside the top five in the league. Prior to the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs Hildebrand had appeared in eight playoff games, all coming in the 2016 playoffs, posting a record of 3-2-0-0, tied to a 3.49 goals against average, and a .894 save percentage.
Evened Up the Calls:
Through the first five games of the series, Kalamazoo and Cincinnati have each seen nearly the same amount of power play opportunities. Kalamazoo has had 26 chances on the power play, while the Cyclones have had 25 chances. Overall across the ECHL only two series have seen a discrepancy greater than one.