Going 6-2-2 in their last 10 games, Florida has improved to 35-17-4 and regained first place in the South Division with 74 points, one point ahead of Texas (32-18-9) and two points in front of Gwinnett (33-17-6).
Florida plays at Gwinnett on Tuesday before hosting Pensacola on Friday and Saturday while Texas will travel to Phoenix on Tuesday and Thursday and Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday. The Gladiators host Florida on Tuesday and Augusta on Saturday while playing at Columbia on Thursday and at Charlotte on Sunday.
Florida has reached the Kelly Cup Playoffs each of its first eight seasons including advancing to the Kelly Cup Finals in 2004 and 2005. The Gladiators have reached the postseason all three years since relocating to Georgia and reached the Kelly Cup Finals a year ago.
The Wildcatters, who were forced to miss the 2005-06 season in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, are looking for their first postseason trip since relocating to Beaumont in 2003-04. Texas has already surpassed the highs from its first two seasons with 32 wins, 16 road wins and 16 home wins.
Gwinnett leads the league with 233 goals and 4.16 goals per game after leading the ECHL a year ago with 304 goals and 4.29 goals per game. The Gladiators also lead the league with 100 power-play goals and a power-play percentage of 25.0 percent. Gwinnett is on pace to score 129 power-play goals which would break the ECHL record of 115 power-play goals set by Nashville in 1995-96. The Gladiators scored 114 power-play goals last season and led the league with a power-play percentage of 24.1 percent, which was the highest percentage since 1999-2000 when Greenville had 24.3 percent.
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 is in fourth place with 67 points (32-23-3), which is four points ahead of Charlotte (30-21-3). The Lynx play at Charlotte on Tuesday, at Columbia on Friday and at Gwinnett on Saturday. Charlotte has a two-point lead on South Carolina (27-22-7) for the fifth and final playoff berth. The Checkers will host Augusta on Tuesday, South Carolina on Thursday and Gwinnett on Sunday. South Carolina holds the league record for most playoff appearances and consecutive playoff appearances with 13, having advanced to the postseason every season since joining the league in 1994-95. The Stingrays, who won the Kelly Cup in 1997 and 2001, host Columbia on Tuesday and Reading on Friday and Saturday while visiting Charlotte on Thursday.