The third-seeded North River Flames will host the sixth-seeded Tyne Valley Clover Farmers at the APM Centre in Cornwall at 7:40 p.m., and the fifth-seeded Morell Crunch will host the fourth-seeded Belfast Sabres at 8:10 p.m. Belfast, which does have home-ice advantage in the series, will then host Games 2 and 3.
Flames vs. Clover Farmers
The Clover Farmers have had a tough year this season after going through a mid-season change in management mid-season, and dealing with struggles to try and keep a full squad for its games.
The Clover Farmers have played some strong games recently, though, including a victory over the second-seeded Southside Lynx, and will be looking to surprise people.
The Flames have been very competitive, and expect to be strong contenders in the playoffs after having won eight of their last 11 regular-season games.
North River forward Brennan Dalziel has had by far his best year offensively with 51 points.
Crunch vs. Sabres
The expansion Sabres had a strong first season in the league behind the offence of their top forward line of Josh Doran, Kurtis MacEwen and Jeremy Godkin, who finished one, two, three in the league scoring race after having scored more than half of the team's goals.
The Crunch only took one of six meetings between the two teams during the regular season, but will look to feed off of Steve Lannigan’s hot goaltending of late, and continued offensive production from Darcy Nicholson.
The league's top two teams, first-seeded Tignish Perry's Construction Aces and the Lynx, have each earned a bye into the best-of-seven semifinal round.
The 2012 Island champion Aces started the season with four consecutive losses, but ended up winning 20 of their remaining 24 games to steal first place away from the Lynx. Traven Gaudet has been the leader offensively with 56 points, and returning netminder Jake Hackett was unbeaten (10-0) and had the lowest goals-against average among goaltenders with more than five games played.
The Lynx led the league for most of the season, but a loss on the final day of the regular season to the Aces dropped them back to second.
Goaltender John Miller was key to helping the Lynx allow the fewest goals against in the league. They also used a balanced offensive attack led by Rob Miller and Chad Murphy.