Seven Teams Fight For Five Playoff Spots In North

Only seven points separate the top five teams and every team in the North Division is still alive in the battle for the five berths in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

Cincinnati (34-23-5) is in first place with 73 points, five points ahead of Dayton (31-22-6) and Toledo (33-26-2) who are tied for second with 68 points each. Trenton (31-26-5) is fourth with 67 points, point in front of Reading (30-29-6), which currently holds the last postseason berth. Johnstown (26-29-6) is sixth with 58 points while Wheeling (25-31-6) is seventh with 56 points.

In the North Division, berths in the Kelly Cup Playoffs will be 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 series in the Division Quarterfinals with the winner advancing to meet the division winner 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 South Division.

The Cyclones will host Wheeling on Tuesday before traveling to Trenton for games on Saturday and Sunday. Cincinnati, which had a voluntary suspension for each of the past two seasons, is trying to reach the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the third time in four seasons, including 2003 when the Cyclones lost in Game 7 of the conference finals to eventual champion Atlantic City.

Dayton plays the first of its remaining four games against Toledo on Tuesday when it hosts the Storm and the second on Wednesday when it visits Toledo. The Bombers will host Johnstown on Friday and Saturday and play at Johnstown on Sunday. Dayton already has 22 more points than a year ago and the most wins and points since their last postseason appearance in 2001-02 when they won the division with 92 points (40-12-12) and advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals. The Chiefs are looking for their first back-to-back Kelly Cup Playoff appearances since 2001 and 2002 and their 12th postseason appearance in 19 seasons.

Toledo will host Reading on Friday and Saturday before traveling to Wheeling on Sunday. The Storm has reached the postseason each of the last two seasons and lost in the conference finals last season. Reading is looking for its fourth consecutive trip to the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

Before its weekend showdown with Cincinnati, Trenton will host Johnstown on Wednesday and play at Wheeling on Friday. The Titans have reached the playoffs in every season but one since joining the league in 1999-2000 and won the Kelly Cup in 2005 and reached the Kelly Cup Finals in 2001.

Wheeling, which has won its last two games, will play at Cincinnati on Tuesday before hosting Trenton on Friday and Toledo on Saturday. The Nailers have reached the Kelly Cup Playoffs twice in the last three years and a year ago advanced to the division finals.