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The Journal Gazette

  • File The Komets prepare for a faceoff against the Allen Americans, the team Justin A. Cohn predicts will win the Kelly Cup again this year. 

Friday, April 14, 2017 1:00 am

Predicting the playoffs, series by series

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Before the season began, I accurately predicted 13 of the 16 ECHL teams that would make the playoffs, including all four of the teams from the Central Division. Of the division champions, I got Allen and Florida correct. The only playoff teams I was incorrect on were Wheeling, Cincinnati and Missouri; Brampton, Greenville and Idaho made the postseason instead.

I had predicted the Kelly Cup Finals would put the Komets against the Reading Royals, with the Royals emerging victorious.

While that's still possible – the Komets had the fourth-best record of the regular season and the No. 2 seed in the division, while Reading is second in the North Division – here are my updated predictions for the playoffs.

I still think the Komets have an excellent chance of playoff success, but struggles during the regular season against regular-season champion Toledo – they had a 1-3-2 record – makes me think the run will end in the second round in a grueling seven-game series.

Tiresome as it may be for those of outside Texas, I believe Allen will win a fifth straight championship, and a third in the ECHL, because of coach Steve Martinson's ability to navigate the playoffs, the goaltending of Riley Gill and that home ice will be big in the finals against Florida.

Series-by-series predictions:

Division semifinals

• Adirondack beats Manchester 4-0

• Reading beats Brampton 4-3

• Florida beats Orlando 4-2

• South Carolina beats Greenville 4-2

• Toledo beats Kalamazoo 4-2

• Komets beat Quad City 4-2

• Allen beats Utah 4-0

• Colorado beats Idaho 4-3

Division finals

• Adirondack beats Reading 4-3

• Florida beats South Carolina 4-1

• Toledo beats Komets 4-3

• Allen beats Colorado 4-3

Conference finals

• Florida beats Adirondack 4-2

• Allen beats Toledo 4-2

Kelly Cup Finals

• Allen beats Florida 4-3