South Division Shaping Up With Florida In The Lead

Posting a pair of wins against Columbia, Florida improved to 40-20-6 and moved into first place in the South Division with 86 points, one point ahead of Texas which improved to 38-20-9 after sweeping a two-game series against Gwinnett which is three points back at 38-21-7.

The Everblades and Wildcatters will meet in Texas on Friday and Saturday while the Gladiators will host South Carolina on Thursday and Pensacola on Saturday while traveling to Columbia on Friday.

Florida has not missed the Kelly Cup Playoffs since joining the league in 1998-99 and in 2004 and 2005 the Everblades advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals. The Wildcatters, who are looking for their first trip to the Kelly Cup Playoffs since they relocated to Beaumont in 2003-04, have set team highs with 38 wins, 19 road wins and 19 home wins after being unable to play last season in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. The Gladiators have advanced to the postseason every season since relocating to Georgia in 2003-04, reaching the Kelly Cup Finals in 2006 and the conference finals in 2004.

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.

Augusta (37-26-3) and South Carolina (34-24-9) are tied for fourth place with 77 points, two points ahead of Charlotte (36-25-3). The Stingrays will travel to Gwinnett on Thursday before heading to Augusta for games on Friday and Saturday against the Lynx, who will host Columbia on Wednesday and play at Charlotte on Sunday. The Checkers, who are 5-2-0 in their last seven games, will play their next four games at home, hosting Pensacola on Tuesday and Thursday, Columbia on Saturday and Augusta on Sunday.

South Carolina holds the ECHL record for most playoff appearances and consecutive playoff appearances having advanced in each of its first 13 seasons, including 1997 and 2001 when the Stingrays won the Kelly Cup. Augusta has not made back-to-back Kelly Cup Playoff appearances since 2000 and 2001 while Charlotte is trying to reach the postseason three consecutive years for the first time since advancing each of its first five seasons from 1994-98.

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.