Key matchups ahead this week in Eastern Conference


Eastern Conference teams have some key head-to-head matchups this week with playoff seeds and positioning on the line.


In the Eastern Conference, three teams are tied for the top spot in the conference with 79 points each, while a fourth team is just three points off the pace. Kalamazoo, one of three teams tied at the top, hosts Orlando, which has 76 points, tonight at Wings Stadium. The K-Wings have tied a club record, set in 2009-10, with a seven-game winning streak entering tonight’s action. On Friday, Kalamazoo hosts Reading, one of the teams tied at the top of the conference standings.


South Carolina is the third team tied for first place in the Eastern Conference. The Stingrays open a five-game home stand this weekend, hosting Orlando on Friday and Saturday and Greenville on Sunday.


Cincinnati is in fifth place with 72 points, one point ahead of Greenville, and hosts Elmira on Friday and Saturday while the Road Warriors host Florida on Thursday and Saturday before heading to South Carolina on Sunday.


Wheeling, which went 3-0-0 last week to move into seventh place of the conference with 70 points, plays a pair of road games this week, visiting Toledo on Wednesday and Evansville on Friday.


Fort Wayne currently holds the eighth and final playoff spot by virtue of having more non-shootout wins than Florida. The Komets have a busy week ahead with matchups against Orlando on Wednesday and Gwinnett on Friday before a home-and-home series with Kalamazoo, starting with a Saturday game at Wings Stadium.


Florida continues its final road trip of the season with games at Evansville on Tuesday and Greenville on Thursday and Friday before playing its final nine games of the year at home.


Evansville enters the week three points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The IceMen have two key head-to-head matchups this week as Florida visits the Ford Center on Tuesday and Wheeling comes to town on Friday. On Saturday, the IceMen host Reading in their home finale, and will play their final eight games of the season on the road.