Tight race shaping up for Brabham Cup


With less than a month remaining in the ECHL regular season, the race for the Brabham Cup and home-ice advantage throughout the Kelly Cup Playoffs is heating up as the top eight teams in the league standings are separated by just six points.


Thanks to an 11-1-1 run in their last 13 games, the Idaho Steelheads sit atop the ECHL standings with 87 points. Idaho, which won the Brabham Cup in 2010 on its way to the Kelly Cup Finals, is the only team in the league to have won at least 20 games at home and on the road so far this season. The Steelheads play six of their final nine games at home.


Florida has won seven straight games to move to within one point of the overall league lead. The Everblades are a two-time Brabham Cup champion (2000 and 2009) and their seven regulation losses on the road are the fewest in the league this season.


Allen sits just two points off the pace with 85 points, and the Americans have four games in hand on the Steelheads. The Americans have five regulation losses at home, which is tied for the fewest in the league, and play eight of their final 13 games on home ice.


The North Division leading Fort Wayne Komets are three points out of the lead, and also have four games in hand on Idaho while Reading, the second place club in the East Division, is four points out of the lead.


The Toledo Walleye have enjoyed the biggest turnaround in the ECHL this season. After finishing with just 49 points last season, the Walleye have already posted a 33-point improvement with 82 points, and have played 57 games, the fewest games played of any team in the league.


Thanks to their ECHL-record 19-game winning streak, the South Carolina Stingrays have charged up the standings over the last six weeks, and are within earshot of the top spot in the league with 81 points, which is tied with Colorado for seventh in the ECHL standings.