Back-to-back wins over Mississippi on Friday and Saturday extended Florida’s winning streak to five games and strengthened its hold on the third seed in the American Conference at 35-17-8 with 78 points. The Everblades are six points ahead of South Carolina (32-20-8) and Columbia (31-16-10) and eight points ahead of Gwinnett (31-18-8).
Pensacola, which became the first team to clinch a Kelly Cup Playoff berth on Saturday, has the top seed in the conference and sits atop the league at 41-14-5 and 87 points. Going 19-3-1 in its last 22 games, including a team-record 12-game winning streak, the Ice Pilots have set Pensacola team records for wins and road wins (20) and need only two points to tie the team record for points. Pensacola will travel to Augusta on Friday and Saturday. The Ice Pilots are 3-0-1 against the Lynx, losing 3-2 in a shootout on November 26 in the only meeting at Augusta.
Charlotte has the second seed as the East Division leader at 36-20-5 and 77 points. Rounding out the postseason heading into this week’s action are Greenville (31-23-5) and Mississippi (31-22-5) at 67 points, eight points ahead of Pee Dee (28-29-3) and 12 points ahead of Augusta (24-28-7).
Florida will host Victoria on Tuesday before traveling to Greenville on Friday and Saturday and Charlotte on Sunday. The Everblades, who are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, have won four consecutive home games to improve 18-8-5 overall at home. Winning back-to-back road games, Florida is 5-1-1 in its last seven road games and 17-9-3 overall on the road. In the only two meetings with Greenville, Florida lost 5-1 on November 24 and 3-2 on November 26, both games in Estero. The Everblades lost 5-4 in overtime on January 8 and are 0-0-1 at Charlotte and 2-0-1 overall against the Checkers.
Reggie Berg has a six-game scoring streak (4g-6a) and in the last five games is tied with Damian Surma for the team lead with five assists and nine points. Berg, Surma and Kris Vernarsky each have four goals and a game-winning goal in the last five games. During the winning streak, Tyler MacKay is 4-0-0 with a 1.75 goals-against average and Rob Zepp is 1-0-0 with a shutout. MacKay is 6-0-0 with a shutout and a 1.97 goals-against average in his last six starts and is 7-0-2 with a 2.16 goals-against average in his last nine starts.
Charlotte is 5-0-2 in its last seven games, losing 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday against Pensacola and 4-3 in overtime at South Carolina on February 26. The Checkers will host Trenton on Tuesday, Gwinnett on Saturday and Florida on Sunday while traveling to Pee Dee on Friday. Charlotte is 6-0-1 in its last seven home games and 22-7-2 overall at home. The Checkers lost 4-1 to Trenton on November 5 in the only meeting between the two. Charlotte won the last time at Pee Dee to improve to 1-1-2 at Florence and 4-1-2 overall against the Pride. The Checkers are 2-0-0 at home and 3-2-0 overall against Gwinnett and 1-0-0 at home and 1-2-0 overall against Florida. Alex Westlund is 5-0-1 with a shutout and a 1.15 goals-against average in his last six starts for Charlotte.
South Carolina, which has won its last five home games to improve to 21-6-2 at home, will host Gwinnett on Tuesday, Columbia on Friday and Pee Dee on Saturday. The Stingrays lost 6-3 at Gwinnett on Sunday and are 0-1-1 at home and 1-4-1 overall against the Gladiators. South Carolina is 3-1-0 at home and 5-4-0 overall against Columbia and 5-0-0 at home and 6-1-2 overall against Pee Dee.Columbia, which is 8-0-4 in its last 12 home games and 18-4-7 overall at home, will host Greenville on Tuesday and Mississippi on Saturday while traveling to South Carolina on Friday and Gwinnett on Sunday. The Inferno is 3-0-1 at home and 6-0-1 overall against Greenville while it lost 6-5 in a shootout on February 22 at Mississippi in the teams only meeting. Columbia is 1-2-1 at South Carolina and 4-3-2 overall against the Stingrays and 2-2-0 at Gwinnett and 3-2-1 overall against the Gladiators.
Gwinnett travels to South Carolina on Tuesday and Charlotte on Saturday while hosting Mississippi on Friday and Columbia on Sunday. The Gladiators have won the last four meetings to improve to 5-1-0 overall and 2-0-0 on the road against the Stingrays. Gwinnett is 2-1-0 at home and 2-2-2 overall against Mississippi and are 0-2-0 at Charlotte and 2-2-1 overall against the Checkers. The Gladiators are 2-1-1 at home and 3-2-1 overall against Columbia. Sean Fields has gone 3-0-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average in his last three starts and is 7-0-2 with two shootout wins and a 2.15 goals-against average in his last nine starts.
Looking to end a three-game losing skid, Greenville concludes a six-game road trip with a visit to Pee Dee on Thursday before returning home to host Florida on Friday and Saturday. The Grrrowl is 4-0-0 at Pee Dee and 5-3-0 overall against the Pride. Greenville, which has won a team record seven consecutive home games to improve to 16-10-1 at home, is 2-0-0 against Florida, winning 5-1 on November 24 and 3-2 on November 26, both games played on the road.
Mississippi will host Idaho on Tuesday before traveling to Gwinnett on Friday and Columbia on Saturday. The Sea Wolves are 1-1-1 in their last three home games but 6-1-1 in the last eight and 17-11-2 overall at home. Winning the last two meetings, Mississippi is 1-1-1 at Gwinnett and 4-1-1 overall against the Gladiators while winning the only meeting with Columbia, 6-5 in a shootout at home on February 22.