Heading into the final three weeks of the regular season, the race for the four Kelly Cup Playoff berths in the North Division of the National Conference is still close with five teams separated by five points while a sixth team remains in the hunt.
Going 3-1-0 last week, Atlantic City is 36-20-8 with 80 points and begins the week in first place while Reading, which was 2-0-2 last week, is in second place at 36-18-7 with 79 points. The Royals have played three fewer games than Atlantic City.
Trenton, which was 3-1-0 last week, is in third place at 34-20-9 with 77 points, one point ahead of Wheeling at 36-23-4 with 76 points. Trenton and Wheeling have each played two games more than Reading and one game less than Atlantic City. Toledo went 1-0-1 last week and is one point behind Wheeling at 35-22-5 with 75 points followed by Peoria, which was 2-2-0 last week, at 32-22-7 with 71 points.
Atlantic City will travel to Trenton on Friday before returning home to host Johnstown on Saturday and Sunday. After winning the first meeting, the Bullies are 0-2-1 in their last three trips to Trenton and are 5-3-1 overall against the Titans. Atlantic City is 1-1-1 at home and 5-1-1 overall against the Chiefs.
Reading, which advanced to the conference finals after qualifying for the playoffs for the first time last season, plays four games in five days, hosting Toledo on Tuesday, Dayton on Thursday and Johnstown on Friday before traveling to Trenton on Saturday. The Royals have won the last two times against Toledo to improve to 4-2-1 against the Storm, including 2-1-0 at home. Reading has won its last two games against Dayton and is 6-1-0 against the Bombers, including 3-1-0 at home. The Royals have won their last three games against Johnstown and are 3-0-0 at home and 4-2-0 overall against the Chiefs. Reading is 1-2-1 at Trenton and 3-4-2 overall against the Titans.
Trenton, which is 5-1-0 in its last six games, will host Atlantic City on Friday and Reading on Saturday. The Titans are 6-0-1 in their last seven home games and 19-8-4 overall at the Sovereign Bank Arena. Trenton has won the last three times at home against Atlantic City, improving to 3-1-0 at home and 4-3-2 overall against the Bullies. The Titans have won the last two meetings against Reading and are 3-1-0 at home and 6-3-0 overall against the Royals.
Wheeling, which was 1-2-0 last week, will travel to Peoria for games on Friday and Saturday. The Nailers beat the Rivermen 2-1 at home on Saturday to improve to 5-2-0, including 1-1-0 at Peoria.
Peoria, which has never missed the postseason since joining the league in 1996-97, will play four games in five nights, hosting Johnstown on Tuesday and Wednesday and Wheeling on Friday and Saturday. The Rivermen are 1-0-1 at home and 3-2-1 overall against the Chiefs and are 1-0-1 at home and 2-4-1 overall against the Nailers.
Toledo, which is 4-0-1 in its last five games, travels to Reading on Tuesday before hosting Dayton on Friday and visiting Dayton on Saturday. The Storm is 1-2-0 at Reading and 3-4-0 overall against the Royals and 6-0-1 against Dayton, including 3-0-1 at home.