Two wins at Utah and a win at Las Vegas helped Texas improve to 35-19-9 and move into first place in the South Division with 79 points. Florida is in second place with 78 points (37-18-4) and Gwinnett is in third place with 77 points (35-18-7). Augusta, South Carolina and Charlotte are in a battle for the final two playoff spots with only four points separating them.
In the South Division, berths in the Kelly Cup Playoffs are awarded to the first-place team as well as to the next four-best teams based on regular-season point totals. The fourth seed and the fifth seed will play a best-of-three game series in the Division Quarterfinals with the winner advancing to meet the division leader in the Division Semifinals, a best-of-five series that also had the second seed playing the third seed. The winners will advance to the best-of-seven Division Finals with the winner advancing to the American Conference Finals to meet the winner of the North Division.
South Carolina won three in a row to move back into the fifth and final playoff spot with 67 points (30-23-7). The Stingrays won the Kelly Cup in 1997 and 2001 and they have reached the playoffs in every one of their 13 seasons, which is the league record for most playoff appearances and consecutive playoff appearances. South Carolina plays at Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday and at Pensacola on Saturday while hosting Florida on Friday and Pensacola on Sunday.
Looking for its first back-to-back Kelly Cup Playoff appearances since 2000 and 2001, Augusta concludes a series of five road games with a visit to Texas on Friday and Saturday.
Trying to reach the postseason for the third consecutive year for the first time since advancing each of its first five seasons from 1994-98, Charlotte hosts Gwinnett on Tuesday and Florida on Saturday while traveling to Columbia on Friday and Sunday.
The Wildcatters are looking for their first trip to the Kelly Cup Playoffs since relocating to Beaumont in 2003-04. Unable to play last season because of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Texas has 29 more points than its best season in 2003-04 and has surpassed its highs with 35 wins, 19 road wins and 16 home wins. The Wildcatters return home, following a seven-game National Conference road trip, to host Augusta on Friday and Saturday.
Florida, which is 8-3-2 in its last 13 games, has advanced to the postseason every season since joining the league in 1998-99, including reaching the Kelly Cup Finals in 2004 and 2005. The Everblades host South Carolina on Tuesday and Wednesday before playing at South Carolina on Friday, at Charlotte on Saturday and at Gwinnett on Sunday.
The Gladiators have reached the postseason all three years since relocating to Georgia in 2003-04 and won the American Conference and reached the Kelly Cup Finals a year ago. Gwinnett, which is 6-1-1 in its last eight games, plays at Charlotte on Tuesday and at Pensacola on Friday before hosting Columbia on Saturday and Florida on Sunday.
Gwinnett leads the league with 249 goals and 4.15 goals per game after leading the ECHL a year ago with 304 goals and 4.29 goals per game. The Gladiators also lead the league with 105 power-play goals and a power-play percentage of 24.8 percent. Gwinnett is on pace to score 126 power-play goals which would break the ECHL record of 115 power-play goals set by Nashville in 1995-96. The Gladiators scored 114 power-play goals in 2005-06 when they led the league with a power-play percentage of 24.1 percent, which was the highest percentage since 1999-2000 when Greenville had 24.3 percent.