Power Play Important For South Leader Gwinnett

Going 5-1-1 in its last seven games and 10-2-1 in the last 13 games, Gwinnett continues to lead the South Division with 59 points (27-13-5). The Gladiators will host Texas on Friday and Augusta on Sunday while playing at Augusta on Saturday.

Gwinnett leads the league with 4.29 goals-per game, 87 power-play goals and a power-play percentage of 26.0. The Gladiators led the ECHL a year ago with 4.22 goals-per game, 114 power-play goals and a power-play percentage of 24.1 percent which was the highest percentage since 1999-2000 when Greenville had 24.3 percent. Gwinnett is on pace to score 139 power-play goals which would easily break the record of 115 power-play goals by Nashville in 1995-96.

Texas is second with 58 points (25-12-8) which is 13 points more than it had in its last season in 2004-05. The Wildcatters, who have not qualified for the postseason in their first two seasons since relocating to Beaumont in 2003-04, have already eclipsed team records for wins and road wins and need only one home win to tie the 14 home wins from 2003-04.

Florida is in third place with 56 points (27-14-2) while Augusta, which is 9-1-2 in its last 12 games, is fourth with 52 points (25-20-2). Charlotte (24-16-3) and South Carolina (24-17-3) are tied for the South Division’s fifth and final berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Everblades have reached the postseason in all of their first seven seasons while Augusta is looking to make its first back-to-back playoff appearances since 2000 and 2001. Charlotte is looking to reach the playoffs for three consecutive years for the first time since 1996, 1997 and 1998 while South Carolina has not missed the postseason in any of its 13 seasons, holding the ECHL record for most appearances and most consecutive appearances.

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.