Officials break up a skirmish between Toledo Walleye defender Jared Wilson and Fort Wayne Komets players Bobby Shea (17) and Curtis Leonard during a game this season. The Central Division final series between the two teams begins Saturday at the Huntington Center in downtown Toledo.
BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH Enlarge
For the third time in the past four postseasons, the Toledo Walleye will face the Fort Wayne Komets in the Kelly Cup playoffs.
The Walleye will square off against the rival Komets in Game 1 of the best-of-7 Central Division final series at 7:35 p.m. Saturday at the Huntington Center. Fort Wayne knocked out Cincinnati in the other Central Division semifinal series 4-1 with a 4-2 victory Sunday against the Cyclones.
It will be the third time since 2015 the Walleye have played the Komets in a division final series. Toledo won 4-1 in the Central Division final last season and 4-3 in the North Division final in 2015.
The Walleye advanced to the second round with a four-game sweep of Indy in a Central Division semifinal series. Toledo eliminated the Fuel with a 3-2 win in double overtime Thursday in Indianapolis. It was the first time the Walleye had ever swept an opponent in the playoffs.
Toledo posted a 50-17-5 record during the regular season, winning the Central Division title. The Walleye also earned home-ice advantage through the first three rounds of the playoffs by finishing with the best record in the Western Conference.
Fort Wayne (46-20-6) finished second in the division and third in the conference.
The Walleye are 2-5-1 overall against the Komets this season. Toledo is 2-2-0 at home and 0-3-1 on the road against Fort Wayne.
The series will follow a 2-2-1-1-1 format, with the first two games at the Huntington Center. Game 2 is at 5:15 p.m. Sunday.
The series then shifts to Fort Wayne for Games 3 and 4 on May 2 and 4. If necessary, Game 5 will be in Toledo on May 5, while Game 6 would be at Fort Wayne on May 8, and Game 7 would be in Toledo on May 9.
Fort Wayne defeated Toledo 5-2 at the Huntington Center the last time the teams met April 6.
For ticket information, call 419-725-92-55 or go to toledowalleye.com/playoffs.
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