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2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs

Race for the Kelly Cup Playoffs – May 28, 2021

Race for the Kelly Cup Playoffs – May 28, 2021

WICHITA, Kan. – Welcome to our daily breakdown of the race to the 2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs! Each game day for the remainder of the ECHL season, we will have an analysis of how the races stack up.

This season, thanks to the imbalance of games, the league is doing things differently, with points percentage being used to award playoff positions.

With the playoffs fast approaching the questions of tiebreakers always comes up and even more so this season when playoff positions are decided by points percentage, not points. Here are the eight tiebreakers the ECHL will use in 2020-21:

1. The higher percentage of regulation wins (regulation wins/total games played)
2. The higher percentage of regulation and overtime wins (excluding games won in the Shootout) (regulation + OT wins/total games played)
3. The greater differential between goals scored for and against by Members having equal standing under priority (1)
4. The higher number of points earned in games against each other among two Members having equal standing under priorities (1) and (2)
5. The higher winning percentage earned in games within the Members Conference (only applicable if tied Members are from the same conference)
6. The higher number of goals scored during the Regular Season
7. The lowest number of goals against during the Regular Season
8. Coin toss

There’s a full slate of games to kick off the Memorial Day weekend, so let’s get going.

Eastern Conference:

Here is how the standings stack up at the beginning of play tonight:

Greenville can clinch their first Kelly Cup Playoff berth in three seasons with a win tonight.

Florida, meanwhile, will have home-ice in at least the opening round of the playoffs. There is a chance they could clinch the Eastern Conference this weekend.

Western Conference:

The Western Conference playoff field could be set by the end of the night.

Fort Wayne can clinch a playoff berth with:

  1. A win
  2. Loss in overtime/shootout
  3. Rapid City loss of any kind
  4. Rapid City win in overtime or shootout

Utah can cement their spot in the playoffs with:

  1. A regulation win
  2. A loss in overtime/shootout with both Rapid City and Tulsa losing
  3. A win of any kind and a Rapid City win in overtime/shootout

The Wichita Thunder has claimed one of the home-ice spots for the opening round, and there is a shot for the Thunder to wrap up the Western Conference regular-season title this weekend.

The Bracket:

Teams With Best Record in Last 10 Games:

Utah Grizzlies: 8-2-0-0
Greenville Swamp Rabbits: 7-3-0-0
Florida Everblades: 6-1-2-1
Wichita Thunder: 6-3-1-0

Does Clinching a Playoff Berth First Mean a Long Playoff Run?

The Wichita Thunder became the first ECHL team to clinch a playoff berth on May 16, despite not playing their Sunday matinee against the Rapid City Rush due to ice issues. As we have seen in the last several years, clinching first does not equate to a deep playoff run, with only two teams making it to the Kelly Cup Finals:

YEAR TEAM RESULT
2008 Texas Wildcatters Lost in South Div. Finals
2009 Florida Everblades Lost in South Div. Finals
2010 Idaho Steelheads Lost in Kelly Cup Finals
2011 Las Vegas Wranglers Lost in West Conf QF
2012 Alaska Aces Lost in West Conf Finals
2013 Ontario Reign Lost in West Conf Semis
2014 Reading Royals Lost in East Conf QF
2015 Toledo Walleye
Fort Wayne Komets
TOL lost in East Conf Finals
FW lost in North Div Finals
2016 Missouri Mavericks Lost in Central Div Finals
2017 Toledo Walleye Lost in Western Conf Finals
2018 Florida Everblades Lost in Kelly Cup Finals
2019 Cincinnati Cyclones Lost in Central Div Finals
2020 South Carolina Stingrays SEASON CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC
2021 Wichita Thunder ????

Race for the Brabham Cup

The race for the Brabham Cup, and home-ice throughout the 2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs, is a two-horse race between the Florida Everblades and Wichita Thunder, who are tied for the league’s top spot entering the penultimate weekend of the season.

Looking back to 2006-07, the winners of the Brabham Cup have gone on to win the Kelly Cup three times.

YEAR TEAM PLAYOFF RESULT
2006-07 Las Vegas Wranglers Lost in Conference Semis to Idaho
2007-08 Cincinnati Cyclones WON KELLY CUP
2008-09 Florida Everblades Lost in South Division Finals to SC
2009-10 Idaho Steelheads Lost in Kelly Cup Finals to Cincinnati
2010-11 Alaska Aces WON KELLY CUP
2011-12 Alaska Aces Lost in Conference Finals to Las Vegas
2012-13 Alaska Aces Lost in Conference Semis to Stockton
2013-14 Alaska Aces WON KELLY CUP
2014-15 Toledo Walleye Lost in Conference Finals to SC
2015-16 Missouri Mavericks Lost in Conference Semis to Allen
2016-17 Toledo Walleye Lost in Conference Finals to Colorado
2017-18 Florida Everblades Lost in Kelly Cup Finals to Colorado
2018-19 Cincinnati Cyclones Lost in Central Division Final to Toledo
2019-20 NO WINNER SEASON CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Stay with The Sin Bin as we chronicle the race to the 2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs!

Download the Field Pass Hockey app from the iTunes or Google Play stores or follow @FieldPassHockey on Twitter for the latest news on the AHL, ECHL, and SPHL throughout the 2021 season!

    Matthew Harding is the Managing Editor for Field Pass Hockey, covers the ECHL and the Wichita Thunder. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHThunder.

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