Augusta Heats up, South Division Gets Stronger

Back-to-back wins against division leader Gwinnett allowed Augusta to extend its winning streak to three games and improve to 7-2-1 in the last 10 games while moving into fourth place in the South Division with 58 points (28-20-2).

The Lynx have won six road games in a row tying the team record set Dec. 31, 1991-Jan. 25, 1992 in the inaugural season when the team played in Raleigh. Augusta trails third place Florida (29-14-2) by two points and co-leaders Gwinnett (28-14-6) and Texas (27-14-8) by four points. The Lynx, who are looking for their first back-to-back playoff appearances since 2000 and 2001, host the Everblades on Friday and Charlotte on Saturday. The Everblades have reached the postseason in all of their first eight seasons including reaching the Kelly Cup Finals in 2004 and 2005.

South Carolina won back-to-back games to move into fifth place with 55 points (26-18-3), two points ahead of Charlotte for the South Division’s last berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Stingrays have not missed the postseason in any of their 13 seasons, holding the ECHL record for most appearances and most consecutive appearances, while Charlotte is looking to reach the postseason for three straight years for the first time since 1996, 1997 and 1998. South Carolina, which has won its last eight home games, hosts Charlotte on Friday and Florida on Saturday and Sunday.

Gwinnett plays at Florida on Wednesday and hosts Charlotte on Sunday while Texas will visit Columbia on Tuesday before hosting Pensacola on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Gladiators lead the ECHL with 204 goals and 4.25 goals per-game after leading the league a year ago with 304 goals and 4.29 goals-per game. Gwinnett leads the ECHL with 91 power-play goals and on the power play with 25.5 percent and is on pace to score 136 power-play goals which would easily break the record of 115 power-play goals by Nashville in 1995-96. The Gladiators led the league a year ago on the power play with 24.1 percent, which was the highest percentage since Greenville had 24.3 percent in 1999-2000, and had the second-most power-play goals in ECHL history with 114.

The Wildcatters, who have not qualified for the postseason in their first two seasons since relocating to Beaumont in 2003-04, have already surpassed their team highs with 27 wins and 14 road wins and need only one more win to tie the record of 14 home wins set in 2003-04. Texas has 17 more points than it had in its last season in 2004-05 and 12 more points than it had in its first season in 2003-04.

In the South Division, berths in the Kelly Cup Playoffs are awarded to the first-place team as well as to the next four-best teams based on regular-season point totals. The fourth seed and the fifth seed will play a best-of-three game series in the Division Quarterfinals with the winner advancing to meet the division leader in the Division Semifinals, a best-of-five series that also had the second seed playing the third seed. The winners will advance to the best-of-seven Division Finals with the winner advancing to the American Conference Finals to meet the winner of the North Division.