Reading became the first team in the North Division to secure its place in the Kelly Cup Playoff while Atlantic City, Toledo, Trenton and Peoria battle for the remaining three berths.
Reading leads the division at 41-20-7 and 89 points, one point ahead of Atlantic City at 40-22-8 and 88 points. Toledo is 40-24-5 with 85 points, tied with Trenton at 38-21-9 and three points ahead of Peoria at 37-24-8 and 82 points. Atlantic City needs only one point to secure its playoff spot while Toledo and Trenton each need four points.
Reading needs five points in its final four games to guarantee itself the top seed in the division. Qualifying for the playoffs in 2004 for the first time since moving to Reading in 2001-02, the Royals upset Johnstown in the Wild Card Game, Wheeling in the Division Semifinals and Peoria in the Division Finals before losing in five games to Florida in the Conference Finals. Reading hosts Peoria on Tuesday and Toledo on Thursday before visiting Atlantic City on Friday and Wheeling on Saturday. Reading is 3-0-0 at home, including a 2-1 win on Sunday, and 5-2-0 overall against Peoria. The Royals are 3-1-0 at home and 5-2-1 overall against Toledo. Reading is 1-1-2 at Atlantic City and 3-3-3 overall against the Boardwalk Bullies and it 2-2-0 at Wheeling and 6-3-0 overall against the Nailers.
Needing only one point to secure its fourth-consecutive appearance in the playoffs, Atlantic City hosts Reading on Friday and travels to Johnstown on Saturday. The Boardwalk Bullies are 3-1-0 at home and 6-3-0 overall against Reading and 4-0-0 at Johnstown and 7-1-1 overall against the Chiefs.
Winning three games in three days over the weekend to improve to 5-1-0 in its last six games, Toledo needs four points in its final three games to return to the postseason for the first time since winning the regular season point title in 2002-03. The Storm, which is 9-2-1 in its last 12 games, travels to Reading on Tuesday before hosting Peoria on Friday and Trenton on Saturday. Toledo is 1-3-0 at Reading and 3-5-0 overall against the Royals. The Storm is 3-2-0 at home and 6-4-0 overall against Peoria and 1-2-1 at home and 2-5-1 overall against Trenton.
Trenton, which missed the playoffs for the first time in five seasons in 2003-04, needs four points in its final four games to lock up its postseason slot. The Titans, who saw their six-game winning streak end with a 3-1 loss to Peoria on Saturday, travel to Dayton on Tuesday and hosts Wheeling on Thursday before visiting Johnstown on Friday and Toledo on Saturday. Trenton is 3-1-0 at Dayton and 7-1-1 overall against the Bombers and is 1-2-0 at home and 2-4-2 overall against Wheeling. The Titans are 3-1-0 at Johnstown and 7-2-0 overall against the Chiefs, and are 3-1-0 at Toledo and 6-2-0 overall against the Storm.
Looking to avoid missing the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time in its nine ECHL season, Peoria plays at Reading on Tuesday and at Toledo on Friday before hosting Dayton on Saturday. The Rivermen, who went 1-2-0 last weekend, are 0-3-0 at Reading and 2-5-0 overall against the Royals and 2-2-1 at Toledo and 4-5-1 overall against the Storm. Peoria is 2-0-2 at home and 3-3-2 overall against Dayton.