One Point Separates Top Three Teams In South Division

Picking up six points in five games, Gwinnett improved to 34-16-2 and is tied for second place in the South Division with Florida (34-16-2) at 70 points, one point behind leader Texas (31-16-9).

Gwinnett plays at Columbia on Friday while Florida, which is 8-2-0 in its last 10 games, hosts Augusta on Tuesday before traveling to Augusta on Friday, Columbia on Saturday and Charlotte on Sunday. The Everblades are 5-0-0 against Augusta, 5-1-0 against Columbia and 5-2-0 against Charlotte. The Wildcatters travel to Utah where they will play the Grizzlies on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

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.

Texas, which has not qualified for the postseason in its first two seasons since relocating to Beaumont in 2003-04, has already surpassed its team highs with 31 wins, 15 road wins and 16 home wins. The Wildcatters, who were unable to play a year ago because of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, already have 26 more points than they did in 2004-05 and 21 more points than its first season in 2003-04.

Augusta is in fourth place with 63 points (30-22-3) and is two points ahead of Charlotte (29-20-3), which is holding the fifth and final berth in the South Division. The Checkers picked up a pair of wins last week against South Carolina, which is two points behind the Charlotte at 26-21-7. The Checkers play at Augusta on Saturday and host Florida on Sunday while South Carolina visits Pensacola on Saturday and Sunday. Charlotte is 3-3-0 against Augusta and 2-3-2 against Florida while the Stingrays are 4-1-0 against the Ice Pilots.

Gwinnett leads the league with 229 goals and 4.16 goals per game after finishing atop the ECHL a year ago with 304 goals and 4.29 goals per game. The Gladiators also lead the league with 99 power-play goals and a power-play percentage of 25.1 percent. Gwinnett is on pace to score 129 power-play goals which would break the ECHL record of 115 power-play goals set by Nashville in 1995-96. The Gladiators scored 114 power-play goals last season and led the league with a power-play percentage of 24.1 percent, which was the highest percentage since 1999-2000 when Greenville had 24.3 percent.