Going 1-0-1 at division leader Cincinnati, Johnstown improved to 31-30-5 and moved closer to securing its berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Chiefs have 67 points and are three points ahead of Dayton, which is in fifth place at 27-28-10. Trenton is 25-34-7 and seven points behind Dayton for the final playoff spot.
Cincinnati is 50-10-5 and with 105 points has clinched the division title to secure home ice throughout the division playoffs. The fourth seed and the fifth seed will play a best-of-three series in the Division Quarterfinals with the winner advancing to meet the Cincinnati in the Division Semifinals, a best-of-seven series that will also have 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 South Division in a best-of-seven series.
The Chiefs are looking to reach the postseason for the third straight year for the first time since advancing in 2000, 2001 and 2002 while Dayton is trying to make its first back-to-back Kelly Cup Playoff appearances since 2001 and 2002. Johnstown plays at Wheeling on Friday before hosting Cincinnati on Saturday and Trenton on Sunday while Dayton hosts Reading on Tuesday, Wheeling on Wednesday and Elmira on Saturday and Sunday.
In their first season in the ECHL, Elmira is 38-20-7 and in second place with 83 points, three points ahead of Reading at 37-22-6. The Jackals host Trenton on Wednesday before traveling to Cincinnati on Friday and Dayton on Saturday and Sunday. The Royals, who missed the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time in three years last season, play at Dayton on Tuesday and at Cincinnati on Wednesday before hosting Trenton on Friday, Wheeling on Saturday and Cincinnati on Sunday.