National Conference Race Keeps Pace

The race for the Kelly Cup Playoffs didn’t change drastically in the National Conference.

Alaska, which became the first team to qualify for the postseason for the second season in a row, remains in first place with a league-leading 81 points (39-13-3). Las Vegas is 7-1-2 in its last 10 games and 13-3-4 in the last 20 to improve to 30-10-3, which puts the Wranglers in second place in the conference and first in the Pacific Division with 73 points. The Wranglers host Idaho on Tuesday and Phoenix on Friday and Saturday while traveling to Phoenix on Thursday.

In the National Conference, playoff berths will be awarded to the first-place team in each division as well as to the next six-best teams, based on regular-season point totals, and all playoff series will be best-of-seven games. In the Conference Quarterfinals, which will be best-of-seven game series, the division winners will be seeded first and second in order of points and the next six-best teams will be seeded third through eighth in order of points. In the Conference Semifinals and the Conference Finals, teams will be re-seeded according to the same criteria as the Conference Quarterfinals with division leaders seeded first and second while the remaining teams will be seeded in order of regular-season points.

Bakersfield is 6-1-3 in its last 10 games improving to 31-13-8 placing the Condors second in the Pacific Division and third in the conference with 70 points. Bakersfield hosts Phoenix on Tuesday before traveling to Alaska for games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Idaho, which is 8-1-1 in the last 10 games, is second in the West Division and fourth in the conference with 64 points (30-18-4) followed by Fresno which is third in the Pacific Division and fifth in the conference with 60 points (28-20-4). Idaho plays at Las Vegas on Tuesday and at Long Beach on Friday and Saturday while Fresno hosts Cincinnati on Tuesday and Sunday and Victoria on Friday and Saturday.

After picking up a pair of wins on the road against South Division leader Texas, Stockton improved to 24-17-10 and is fourth in the Pacific Division and sixth in the conference with 58 points followed by Phoenix with 52 points (24-26-4). The Thunder and RoadRunners are both looking for their first Kelly Cup Playoff appearance.

Continuing to hold the eighth and final berth in the National Conference is Victoria, which has missed the postseason each of its first two seasons. The Salmon Kings have 49 points (24-31-1) which is six points ahead of Utah (19-30-5) and eight points in front of Long Beach (19-30-3). The Salmon Kings, who are 4-2-0 in their last six games, play at Fresno on Friday and Saturday while Utah hosts Texas on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.