A three-game series between Cincinnati and Toledo this weekend could go a long way to determining which team earns the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Cyclones currently hold a four-point lead over the Walleye for eighth place with six games remaining for each team.
Cincinnati, which is 5-2-1 on its season-long nine-game road trip, concludes the trip with a Wednesday morning match-up in Kalamazoo. Toledo is idle until opening the weekend series on Friday at U.S. Bank Arena. After another match-up in Cincinnati on Saturday, the series shifts to Toledo on Sunday for the final regular-season meeting of the year between the two in-state rivals. The Cyclones are 5-6-1 against the Walleye this season while Toledo has gone 7-4-1 in the first 12 meetings.
The Cyclones are just one point behind Elmira and Wheeling, who are tied for sixth place in the conference. The Jackals host Trenton on Wednesday and Kalamazoo on Saturday and Sunday while the Nailers play a three-game series at Florida, which has a three-point lead over Wheeling for fifth place, on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
In the Western Conference, the race for the Pacific Division championship will go down to the wire as Stockton, Bakersfield and Las Vegas are separated by just three points. The Thunder, which swept a three-game series with Idaho over the weekend, enjoys a one-point lead over the Condors and a three-point edge over the Wranglers for the top spot. Stockton hosts Victoria for a three-game weekend series starting on Friday. Bakersfield, which has set a new team record with an eight-game winning streak, hosts Victoria on Wednesday before hosting Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday. The Wranglers entertain Alaska on Tuesday and play at Utah on Wednesday before heading to Bakersfield for two games this weekend.