With less than three weeks to go in the ECHL’s regular season, the races for playoff positioning are getting very competitive.

With Fort Wayne’s overtime loss to the Quad City Mallards Saturday night, it ensured the #1 seed in the Western Conference will be held by the Missouri Mavericks. The Mavericks magic number for clinching the Brabham Cup is down to 4 over the Toledo Walleye. With a win Wednesday night against the Evansville IceMen and a loss by Toledo Tuesday night, the Mavericks will win their first Brabham Cup.

In the east, the Toledo Walleye punched their ticket to the Kelly Cup Playoffs Saturday night thanks to a loss by the Atlanta Gladiators.  Toledo’s post season means that for the first time in Walleye history Toledo heads to the playoffs in back to back years. It is the fourth trip to the playoffs for the Walleye in their history.

The South Carolina Stingrays would be the next to clinch a playoff berth. Their magic number over the Orlando Solar Bears is at 4. Orlando hosts Greenville Wednesday night, while the Stingrays travel to Atlanta on Thursday.

Manchester is very close to clinching their first ever berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Their magic number over Orlando sits at 5. The Monarchs host Brampton Wednesday night, plays at Reading on Friday and at Adirondack Saturday night.

Tuesday’s Key Matchup:

The Wheeling Nailers host the Toledo Walleye in a game that could decide the North Division title. A Toledo win would clinch a share of the division title for the Walleye. The Nailers enter the game with points in nine straight games. They currently sit in 6th in the Eastern Conference with 73 points.

Here are the Magic Numbers for clinching division titles as of Monday:

Division Division Leader Magic Number
East Manchester 9
North Toledo 4
South South Carolina 13
Midwest Fort Wayne 14
Central Missouri CLINCHED
West Idaho 11

The races for playoff positioning are very tight in both the eastern and western conferences. Here is a breakdown of those races:

Eastern Conference:

Rank Team GP Wins Losses OT/SOL Pts This Week’s Games 
6 Wheeling 63 33 23 7 73 Hm v. TOL Tue, @FTW Wed, @KAL Fri/Sat
7 Reading 64 32 23 9 73 Hm v. KAL Wed, Hm v. MAN Fri
8 Elmira 65 34 27 4 72 Hm v. BRM Fri/Sat
9 Orlando 62 30 24 8 68 Hm v. GRN Wed, @NOR Fri/Sat
10 Atlanta 64 30 24 8 67 Hm v. SC Thu & Sat

It could be a significant week in the race for the playoff race in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta is in an absolute free fall in their last 10 games, with a record of 1-8-1. A pair of losses to South Carolina, a team the Gladiators have a 3-6-0-0 record against this season, could spell doom for the Glads’ playoff chances. Elmira has an excellent chance to improve their position, playing the hapless Brampton Beast at home. The team to watch in all of this is Orlando, who has games-in-hand on everyone above them in the standings. The Solar Bears are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and are riding a two-game winning streak heading into this week’s slate of games.

Western Conference:

Rank Team GP Wins Losses OT/SOL Pts This Week’s Games
5 Cincinnati 63 33 22 8 74 @IND Thu/Fri, @TOL Sat
6 Utah 64 34 25 5 73 Hm v. TUL Wed, Fri, Sat
7 Colorado 63 33 26 4 70 @IDA Fri/Sat
8 Quad City 63 31 26 6 68 Hm v. EVA Fri, @WIC Sat
9 Tulsa 61 31 25 5 67 @UTA Wed, Fri, Sat

On paper, the Quad City Mallards have an excellent chance to expand their lead on the Tulsa Oilers this weekend. Tulsa is 10-17-0-1 away from BOK Center, while the Mallards have a combined 8-1-1-1 record against Evansville and Wichita. Utah and Tulsa have a 2-2-0-0 record against each other this season.

If the Playoffs Started Today:

Here is what the playoff matchups would be for the Quarterfinal Series in both the Eastern and Western Conferences. The record in parenthesis is the team’s record at the end of play Sunday.

Eastern Conference:

x*(1) Toledo Walleye 41-17-2-3, 87 pts vs (8) Elmira Jackals 34-27-3-1, 72 pts
*(2) South Carolina Stingrays 38-18-5-3, 84 pts vs (7) Reading Royals 32-23-5-4, 73 pts
*(3) Manchester Monarchs 37-19-4-5, 83 pts vs (6) Wheeling Nailers 33-23-3-4, 73 pts
*(4) Florida Everblades 40-21-0-2, 82 pts  (5) Adirondack Thunder 35-23-2-4, 76 pts

Western Conference:

z*(1) Missouri Mavericks 48-9-3-2, 101 pts vs (8) Quad City Mallards 31-26-4-2, 68 pts
*(2) Fort Wayne Komets 35-20-6-2, 78 pts vs (7) Colorado Eagles 33-26-3-1, 70 pts
*(3) Idaho Steelheads 35-21-5-3, 78 pts vs (6) Utah Grizzlies 34-25-3-2, 73 pts
*(4) Allen Americans 36-22-3-4, 79 pts vs (5) Cincinnati Cyclones 33-22-4-4, 74 pts

x=Clinched Playoff Berth
y=Clinched Division Title
z=Clinched Conference Title
p=Clinched Regular Season Title
*=Home-Ice in 1st rd.

Stay with thesinbin.net for complete coverage of the race to the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

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