Winning five games in a row and going 7-1-2 in its last 10 games, Peoria has climbed back into Kelly Cup Playoff race in the North Division of the National Conference where eight points separate six teams battling for four postseason spots. The Rivermen, who have not missed the Kelly Cup Playoffs in each of their first eight ECHL seasons, are 28-18-7 and in sixth place with 63 points, three points behind Toledo (31-22-4) and Trenton (29-18-8) for the fourth and final postseason berth. Reading is in first place at 33-17-5 and 71 points followed by Wheeling at 33-19-4 and 70 points and Atlantic City at 31-18-7 and 69 points.
Peoria posted back-to-back wins over Toledo on Friday and Saturday and a win over Trenton on Sunday. Peoria hosts Trenton on Tuesday before traveling to Toledo on Friday and Saturday and Wheeling on Sunday. The Rivermen are 3-0-0 at home and 4-0-0 overall against Trenton, 0-3-0 at Wheeling and 1-3-1 overall against the Nailers and 2-0-1 at Toledo and 4-3-1 overall against the Storm.
Brian McCullough has three game-winning goals and six points (4g-2a) in the last five games and four game-winning goals and 12 points (9g-3a) in the last 10 games for the Rivermen. McCullough is second in the league with eight game-winning goals and ranks third with 28 goals. Alfie Michaud was 3-0-0 with a shutout last weekend, improving to 4-0-0 with a shutout, a goals-against average of 1.50 and a save percentage of .944 in his last four starts. Michaud is 6-0-1 with a goals-against average of 1.81 and a save percentage of .932 in his last eight games and in his last 19 games is 14-1-2 with four shutouts and a goals-against average of 1.50. Michaud is 20-8-4 and second in the league with a goals-against average of 1.97 while his four shutouts ties him for third in the ECHL.
Reading, which was 3-1-0 last week and is 4-1-0 in its last five games, hosts Dayton on Friday and Atlantic City on Saturday. The Royals lost 4-3 to Dayton on March 4 and are 1-1-0 at home and 4-1-0 overall against the Bombers. Reading is 1-1-1 at home and 2-2-2 overall against Atlantic City. Barry Brust is 4-0-0 with two shutouts, a goals-against average of 0.50 and a save percentage of .978 in his last four games. He is 20-8-3 with three shutouts and ranks third in the league with a goals-against average of 2.02.
Wheeling will travel to Atlantic City on Wednesday, to Trenton on Friday and Johnstown on Saturday before returning home to host Peoria on Sunday. The Nailers are 2-0-0 at Atlantic City and 3-2-1 overall against the Bullies and 2-0-0 at Trenton and 6-0-0 overall against the Titans. Wheeling has won the last four meetings with the Chiefs to improve to 4-1-0, including 1-1-0 at Johnstown, and is 3-0-0 at home and 4-1-0 overall against Peoria.
Atlantic City, which is 5-1-1 in its last seven games, hosts Wheeling on Wednesday before traveling to Johnstown on Friday, Reading on Saturday and Dayton on Sunday. The Bullies have won the last three meetings with the Nailers to improve to 3-0-3 overall and 0-0-2 at home while going 3-0-0 at Johnstown and 4-1-1 overall against the Chiefs. Atlantic City is 2-1-0 at Reading and 4-2-0 overall against the Royals and is 2-1-0 at Dayton and 6-1-1 overall against the Bombers. In the last seven games, Derek Edwardson has two game-winning goals and 11 points (4g-7a) and Paul Caponigri has a game-winning goal and 10 points (2g-8a).
Toledo will host Peoria on Friday and Saturday before traveling to Johnstown on Sunday. The Storm is 1-2-0 at home and 4-4-0 overall against Peoria and is 1-2-0 at Johnstown and 5-2-0 overall against the Chiefs.
Trenton plays at Peoria on Tuesday and at Dayton on Wednesday before returning home to host Wheeling on Friday. The Titans are 0-3-0 at Peoria and 0-3-1 overall against the Rivermen and 3-0-0 at Dayton and 6-0-1 overall against the Bombers. Trenton is 0-2-0 at home and 0-4-2 overall against Wheeling. Nick Deschenes (6g-2a) and Scott Bertoli (3g-5a) each have eight points in the last five games.