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The race for the fourth spot in both the North and South Divisions tightened some Friday night, while the races for the same spots in the Central and Mountain divisions continue to be neck-and-neck as the games remaining column begins to enter single digits.

Before we start our breakdowns, a huge thanks to our statistician Joe Alsman for providing the stats for this piece. Joe provides our team with a wealth of statistical information during the season, and it’s great to have him as part of Team Sin Bin.

If you are new to hockey and not sure how the magic numbers work, they represent the number of “points” needed to clinch. Of which these can be garnered in any combination. The ultimate is a win by a team in front combined with a regulation loss by a team behind. That gains four points for the team ahead. Combinations of wins/losses can result in 4, 3, 2, 1, or no points gained.

Win – Regulation Loss: 4 point gain
Win – OT/SO Loss: 3 point gain
Win – Win: 2 point gain
OT/SO Loss – Regulation Loss: 1 point gain
Anything else is 0 points gained.

Let’s start the breakdowns!

Eastern Conference

NORTH DIVISION

  • Manchester and Adirondack¬†both won in OT last night, keeping the gap between those two teams at two points. The Thunder remains three points ahead of the Reading Royals, who were idle Friday night.
  • Wheeling saw their lead for the fourth playoff position cut down to six with a loss to Worcester Friday night.
  • The Railers still hold three games-in-hand on the Nailers in the season’s final three weeks.
  • Brampton’s tragic number remains at nine.

SOUTH DIVISION

  • The Florida Everblades won in regulation last night against the Orlando Solar Bears. Combined with a regulation loss by the South Carolina Stingrays, the Everblades’ magic number for clinching the South is now at 15.
  • Orlando remains six points up on Atlanta for the third spot in the division. Each team has eight games remaining.
  • With a win last night over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, Norfolk trimmed their deficit on fourth-place down to six. Norfolk hosts Greenville again tonight, while Atlanta hosts Jacksonville.

Western Conference

CENTRAL DIVISION

  • With a win and a Fort Wayne loss in overtime to Adirondack, the Toledo Walleye trimmed their magic number for clinching the Central Division down to 15.
  • Cincinnati prevented Indy from jumping into the fourth playoff position Friday night with a 6-1 win over the Fuel. Indy hosts Toledo tonight, while Cincinnati plays at Kalamazoo.
  • With the win, the Cyclones’ magic number for clinching a playoff berth is at 14.
  • Kansas City could not capitalize on Indy’s misfortunes either after being shutout against the Tulsa Oilers Friday night. The Mavericks remain deadlocked with Kalamazoo for the fourth playoff position. Kansas City hosts Tulsa tonight.
  • Kalamazoo Wings currently holds the fourth spot in the division thanks to having more ROW (regulation, non-shootout wins) than the Mavericks. The Wings hold an edge in that department 29-to-27.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION

  • The Eagles’ magic number for clinching the Mountain Division remains at 11, thanks to Idaho winning in South Carolina Friday night. The Eagles’ host the Allen Americans tonight and Sunday afternoon.
  • The Steelheads’ trimmed their magic number for clinching a playoff berth down to six. They are idle the rest of the weekend and will likely punch their ticket next week.
  • Wichita’s magic number was trimmed to 13, thanks to their win over Rapid City last night. Wichita will play another game in the Black Hills tonight, while Tulsa is at KC.
  • Allen plays in Colorado tonight. They enter the contest one point up on Tulsa for the final playoff spot and have won their last six games.
  • Utah fell five points back of Allen with an overtime loss Friday night. The Grizzlies have played one more game than Allen, and will need an impressive stretch plus some help over their final ten games of the season if they want to get into the playoffs.

Teams Eliminated:

Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Quad City Mallards
Rapid City Rush

Current Playoff Bracket

Here is the bracket for the Kelly Cup Playoffs, if they were to start today:

Best Record in Last 10 Games:

Toledo Walleye: 8-1-1-0
Florida Everblades: 8-1-1-0
Cincinnati Cyclones: 7-3-0-0
Colorado Eagles: 7-3-0-0
Orlando Solar Bears: 7-2-1-0

The Race for the Brabham Cup

The race for the Brabham Cup is currently a two-horse race between the Florida Everblades and Toledo Walleye, who are separated by one mere point in the standings (Florida 92, Toledo 93). But, the Fort Wayne Komets and Colorado Eagles are lurking in third and fourth.

Here is a look at the standings through action on Friday:

TEAM RECORD GAMES REMAINING
Toledo Walleye 44-15-3-2 (93 pts) 8 (4H, 4A)
Florida Everblades 42-12-2-4 (92 pts) 11 (8H, 3A)
Fort Wayne Komets 42-16-3-1 (88 pts) 9 (5H, 4A)
Colorado Eagles 40-16-4-2 (86 pts) 10 (5H, 5A)

There is still a lot to be decided in the final 22 days of the ECHL regular season. We will be here to break it all down for you as it happens!

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