The top two teams in both the Eastern and Western Conference meet for the second night in a row, as the race for the top seeds and the Brabham Cup continues as just eight days remain in the 2011-12 ECHL regular season.
Gwinnett looks to move closer to earning the number one seed in the Eastern Conference tonight as it visits Greenville. Last night, the Gladiators overcame a 2-0 deficit in the final 8:07 of the third period, including the tying goal from Joey Haddad with nine seconds remaining, to come back and defeat the Road Warriors 3-2 in a shootout. The win extended Gwinnett’s lead over Greenville atop the South Division to three points, and reduced the Gladiators magic number to clinching the division title to six points.
The Gladiators also have a three-point lead over Elmira for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. The Jackals, coming off of a 3-1 win at Toledo last night, visit the Walleye again tonight looking to clinch the Atlantic Division championship. Elmira sews up the division crown with a win and a Wheeling loss, or an overtime/shootout loss coupled with a Wheeling loss in regulation.
In the Western Conference, Alaska outlasted Ontario in a back-and-forth affair last night 4-3. The Reign pulled even at 3 with just 1:01 remaining in the third period only to see the Aces answer only nine seconds later to pick up the win. With the win, Alaska’s lead over Ontario for the number one seed in the conference was increased to five. The Aces also have a four-point lead over Gwinnett for the Brabham Cup and home-ice advantage throughout the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Four teams can clinch berths in the postseason in tonight’s action. The scenarios are:
Kalamazoo can clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Saturday if:
Kalamazoo wins in regulation/overtime AND Reading loses in regulation
Wheeling can clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Saturday if:
Wheeling wins in regulation/overtime AND Chicago loses AND Reading loses
South Carolina can clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Saturday if:
South Carolina wins in regulation/overtime AND Chicago loses in regulation AND Reading loses in regulation
Florida can clinch a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Saturday if:
Florida wins OR Chicago loses in regulation AND Reading loses in regulation