Gulls, Nailers Begin Week Tied For ECHL Lead

San Diego begins the week tied for the ECHL lead and atop the Western Conference and the Pacific Division with 72 points and a 34-11-4 record. Louisiana opens the week leading the Central Division and in second place in the Western Conference with 70 points and a 34-13-2 record.

San Diego was scheduled to play at Louisiana on Monday. Going 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, 13-1-1 in their last 15 games and 25-4-2 in their last 31 games, the Gulls lead the Pacific Division by seven points over Las Vegas (30-16-5) and by nine points over Idaho (29-16-5). Alaska currently has the fourth and final Kelly Cup Playoff spot in the Pacific with 58 points and a 27-17-4 record, 15 points ahead of fifth place Bakersfield (18-24-7).

Louisiana leads the Central Division by four points over Mississippi (30-16-6) and by eight points over Gwinnett (29-18-4). Columbus presently holds the fourth and final Kelly Cup Playoff berth in the Central with 58 points (27-21-4), four points ahead of Pensacola (24-17-6).

Wheeling begins the week tied for the league lead and on top of the Eastern Conference and the Northern Division with 72 points and a 35-13-2 record, two points ahead of Atlantic City (33-12-4) and six points ahead of third place Peoria (29-12-8). Reading is in fourth place with 63 points and a 28-15-7 record while Johnstown currently has the fifth and final Kelly Cup Playoffs berth in the Northern Division with 59 points and a 27-16-5 record, six points ahead of Trenton (24-18-5).

Columbia is the leader in the Southern Division with 69 points and a 32-15-5 record, six points ahead of Greensboro (31-20-1) and eight points ahead of third place Florida (26-19-9). South Carolina presently holds the fourth and final Kelly Cup Playoffs spot in the Southern Division with 59 points and a 28-17-3 record, one point ahead of Charlotte (26-20-6) and seven points ahead of Roanoke (23-23-6).

The 2004 Kelly Cup Playoffs format consists of five of nine teams from the Northern Division and four of eight teams from the Southern Division, and four of seven teams from the Central Division and the Pacific Division.

In the Southern Division and in both the Central Division and the Pacific Division, the four teams with the highest regular season point total in each division will qualify for the playoffs. The Western Conference Division Semifinals will be a best-of-five series with the Division winner meeting the fourth-place finisher and the second-place finisher meeting the third-place finisher.

The Division Semifinals winners advance to the best-of-five Division Finals. The Division Finals winners meet in the best-of-five Western Conference Championship with the winner advancing to the best-of-seven Kelly Cup Finals against the Eastern Conference Champion.

In the Northern Division, the five teams with the highest regular season point total will qualify for the playoffs. The fourth-place finisher will host the fifth-place finisher in a Wild Card Game with the winner advancing to the Division Semifinals.

The Northern Division Semifinals will be a best-of-five series with the Division winner meeting the Wild Card Game winner and the second-place finisher meeting the third-place finisher. The Southern Division Semifinals will be a best-of-five series with the Division winner meeting the fourth-place finisher and the second-place finisher meeting the third-place finisher.

The Division Semifinal winners advance to the best-of-five Division Finals. The Division Finals winners meet in the best-of-five Eastern Conference Championship with the winner advancing to the best-of-seven Kelly Cup Finals against the Western Conference Champion.