The Playoff Push: Feb. 17, 2024

By USPHL Staff

In The Playoff Push, we will take a look at the busiest game days’ most integral games in regards to teams clinching playoffs or clinching specific playoff berths, as we head down the stretch toward the start of playoffs in early March.


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15 games today

With a Decatur loss yesterday, the Battle Creek Kernels clinched the sixth and final spot in the Midwest East.

In the Midwest West, the Dells Ducks (No. 8) and Isanti Outlaws (No. 9) are battling for that eightth and final Midwest West spot. Both are idle today.

The Fresno Monsters (No. 1 Pacific) host the Vernal Oilers (No. 1 Northwest). The Monsters need a win today or tomorrow to lock up first in the Pacific.

In the Atlantic, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (No. 2) host the Northern Cyclones (No. 2 New England). WBS are on their way to clinching second and hosting the Hitmen. Their magic number vs. Elmira is 2.

Also in the Atlantic, the Hershey Bears (No. 3), Elmira Impact (No. 4) and P.A.L. Jr. Islanders (No. 5) are in a three-way battle for two home ice slots in March. P.A.L. hosts Elmira for two this weekend.

Three Elmira points will give the Impact home ice. Four points will do it for Hershey as well. Hershey is idle this weekend.

The College Universel Gatineau watch is always on in the New England Division. They visit the Islanders HC (No. 3) today and finish up with three games at Utica (No. 1) next weekend. Springfield (No. 6) is chasing Gatineau. The Pics host the Junior Bruins (No. 7) today.

In general, these teams clustered at 3-4-5-6 will make for the best first round match-ups, where a three-game series could actually go three games.



6 games today 

 In the Florida Division, you almost have to start looking at tiebreakers. The Florida Jr. Blades have 25 points. Palm Beach (No. 5) and Bold City (No. 6) each can achieve at most 25 points. The Jr. Blades (No. 4) play the Eels (No. 3) today. A Blades point today means the tiebreaker conversation ends at “Hello.”

But humor us: The Blades hold the head-too-head tiebreaker on Palm Beach eight points to two, so Palm Beach will not be able to make the playoffs. The Blades have a three-game set against Bold City next week, so head-to-head there becomes useless. Again, just one point for the Jr. Blades ends this conversation. 

In the Southeast – and overall in the Elite – Potomac is in first place this morning. A Carolina Jr. Hurricanes (No. 2) win over the Hampton Roads Whalers (No. 4) today will see Carolina leapfrog Potomac. In that case, Potomac would need to win tomorrow over Carolina to get back to first. Potomac finishes tomorrow. Should they be in first in the club house, their fate will rest on how Carolina does at Charlotte next weekend. Fate is actually a strong word. They will either face Charlotte or Hampton on their quest for Utica. 

Nothing will be settled in the Midwest Division today. The Chicago Crush (No. 2) play at Decatur (No. 6) in today’s only Midwest game. A win today will leave only Fort Wayne blocking their way to a first round bye.