Two playoff spots up for grabs on season’s final day

Four Eastern Confernce teams are alive for the final two playoff spots in the conference as the ECHL season enters its final day.

 

South Carolina and Chicago go into tonight’s action controlling their own destinies. The Stingrays, who host Greenville tonight, can clinch a playoff berth with a win, an overtime/shootout loss or a Reading loss. South Carolina is looking to advance to the postseason for the 18th time in its 19 ECHL seasons.

 

Chicago ended the home portion of its schedule last night with a 4-2 win over Kalamazoo to move into the eighth and final spot in the conference. The Express have won five straight games, and have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, as they look to advance to the Kelly Cup Playoffs in their inaugural season. Chicago travels to Cincinnati tonight needing a win or an overtime/shootout loss plus a Reading loss to punch its ticket to the postseason. For the Cyclones to qualify for the postseason, Cincinnati needs a regulation win in tonight’s game along with a Reading loss.

 

Reading, which hosts Trenton tonight at Sovereign Center, can advance to the postseason with a win and a Chicago loss or a win and a South Carolina regulation loss.


At the top of the conference, Elmira moved into first place with a 3-2 overtime win against Reading last night. The Jackals, who travel to Wheeling tonight, can secure the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a win, a Gwinnett loss, or an overtime/shootout loss coupled with a Gwinnett shootout win. The Gladiators conclude their three-game series in Florida tonight, and can secure the conference’s number-one seed with a win plus an Elmira regulation loss or a regulation overtime win coupled with an Elmira overtime/shootout loss.

 

Over in the Western Conference, the only unsettled seeding comes at the top of the Pacific Division. Ontario enters the final day of the regular season with a one-point lead over Las Vegas for the division title and the number two seed in the conference. The Reign host Alaska tonight needing a win, or a Las Vegas regulation loss, or an overtime/shootout loss and a Las Vegas regulation loss to clinch their second division title in the last four seasons.

 

The Wranglers host Colorado tonight, and can clinch the division with a win and an Ontario loss, or an overtime/shootout loss along with an Ontario regulation loss.

 

Alaska has clinched the Brabham Cup, and with the number one seed in the Western Conference, a bye in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. The Pacific Division champion will earn the second seed and meet Idaho or Utah in the first round. The second-place squad in the Pacific Division will be the third seed and meet Utah in the opening round. Colorado and Stockton, who are locked into the four and five spots respectively, will meet in third Western Conference Quarterfinals series.