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Playoff seeding up for grabs in Western Conference

 

The race for playoff seeding in the Western Conference remains unsettled with under three weeks remaining in the 2013-14 regular season.

 

A two-team race between Alaska and Ontario for the number one seed in the conference playoffs looks as though it will come down to the wire. The Aces began their season-ending 10-game road trip last week with a 2-0-1 record in games at Las Vegas and Stockton. The Aces, who are looking to win their fourth consecutive Brabham Cup as ECHL regular-season champions, enter this week with a .005 winning-percentage edge on Ontario for the number one spot in the Western Conference. Alaska is at Bakersfield on Tuesday before heading to Las Vegas for games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

 

The Reign meanwhile have a magic number of one point to clinch their third straight Pacific Division title. Ontario is unbeaten in its last six games (5-0-1) and has won seven of its last eight home games which could factor in the final standings as the Reign play six of their final eight games at Citizens Business Bank Arena where the club leads the ECHL in attendance with an average of 8,047 fans per game. The Reign can wrap up the division title as early as Wednesday when they host Las Vegas.

 

Three teams are battling for spots three through five, and with it, the final two home-ice advantage slots in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Utah, which is a league-best 26-7-5 since Dec. 27 and has won four straight games, is in third place with a .597 winning percentage and heads to Colorado for three games this week. The Eagles are right on the Grizzlies’ heels with a .573 winning percentage. Idaho enters the week in fifth place of the conference with a .562 winning percentage and is in Stockton for three games this week. The Steelheads will play their final four games of the season head-to-head against both Utah and Colorado.

 

Stockton and Bakersfield are locked into a battle for spots six and seven in the Western Conference. The Thunder are in sixth place with a .525 winning percentage, and hold a .009 edge over the Condors for the sixth spot. The two teams have one head-to-head meeting remaining, as they will face-off against each other on Friday, April 11 on the final weekend of the regular season.

 

Las Vegas, which has gone 5-4-1 in its last 10 games for its best stretch of the season, enters this week in eighth place of the conference with a .331 winning percentage.