Playoff races heating up as season enters home stretch


With two weeks remaining in the 2014-15 ECHL regular season, each of the league’s four divisions features a race for the final remaining playoff spots.


In the North Division, Toledo and Fort Wayne continue to battle for the top spot. The Walleye have a two-point lead on the Komets, as well as a game in hand. Kalamazoo took two of three games in Colorado over the weekend to strengthen their grip on third place with 71 points, while Wheeling currently owns the final playoff spot in the division with 68 points. The Nailers are three points clear of Cincinnati and have a five-point lead on Indy.


The Florida Everblades lead the East Division, and with 99 points are holding down the top spot in the ECHL. Florida’s magic number to clinch the division title is three points over Reading. Thanks to their league-record 23-game winning streak, which ended on Saturday at Indy, the South Carolina Stingrays have moved into second place in the division with 91 points, one point ahead of the Royals. Orlando is in fourth place in the East Division with 78 points, and has a four-point lead on Greenville for the final playoff spot in the division.


Allen remains the only team in the league to have clinched a division title. The Americans sit atop the Central Division with 95 points. Rapid City has used a 14-2-2 run in its last 18 games to move into second place with 77 points, which is two point ahead of third-place Quad City. Tulsa has a five-point lead on Wichita for the final playoff spot in the Central Division.


Three of the four playoff spots in the Pacific Division have been claimed. Idaho leads the way with 96 points, and has a magic number of three points to claim the division title. Ontario is in second place with 87 points, one point ahead of Colorado. Alaska has moved into fourth place in the division with five straight wins, one point ahead of Utah. The Grizzlies and Aces meet in a crucial two-game series at the Maverik Center on Friday and Saturday this week.