Race for the Brabham Cup heats up


The race for the Brabham Cup as ECHL regular-season champion, and home-ice advantage throughout the 2013 Kelly Cup Playoffs, has tightened up entering the final two weeks of the regular season.


The two-time defending Brabham Cup champion Alaska Aces lead the league with 99 points entering their final five games of the season. Alaska plays its final five games on the road, starting with a three-game series in Colorado on Wednesday.


Ontario, which has clinched its second consecutive Pacific Division title, is second in the league with 93 points. The Reign and Aces are the only two teams in the league to have at least 20 wins at home and on the road, and the two teams will end the regular season against one another in Ontario on March 29 and 30.


Idaho, which swept a three-game series in Anchorage against the Aces over the weekend, is third with 91 points. The Steelheads have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, and have clinched at least the third seed in the Western Conference.


The Steelheads host the Reign in a three-game series in Boise this week. Idaho has won four of the six head-to-head meetings between the clubs so far this season.


Reading leads the Eastern Conference, and is fourth with 90 points, two points ahead of Cincinnati. The Royals have clinched a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive year, while the Cyclones are back in the postseason after narrowly missing out last season, and have clinched their first North Division title since 2009.