The IceRays are in a dead heat with the Odessa Jackalopes coming into this weekend, and the two-game set at the American Bank Center has direct implications on both team's playoff hopes heading into the home stretch. With Odessa owning the first tie-breaker (most potential wins), the IceRays need to be above the Jackalopes by one point at season's end despite leading the other three ensuing tie-breakers. Based on this weekend's results, here are the playoff implications (without considering overtime/shootout results):
1. IceRays Sweep = IceRays need three points earned (or lost by Odessa) in their last four games to clinch the playoffs
2. Split Weekend = Odessa cannot earn more than one point exceeding the total earned by the IceRays in the final four games to clinch
3. Odessa Sweep = IceRays need three points more earned than Odessa in their final four games to clinch
The schedule for the final four games tilts in Odessa's favor. The Jackalopes conclude their season with four-straight games at home, taking on the Lone Star Brahmas and Amarillo Bulls. Odessa is 3-7-0 against the Brahmas this season while going 2-2-0 at home, but they also have a 7-2-1 record against Amarillo this season with a 3-0-1 record at home. The IceRays play four-straight against the Wichita Falls Wildcats to round out the season, splitting those at home and on the road. The IceRays just earned their first win over the Wildcats on March 12, imrpoving to 1-7-0 this season though only playing two games since the middle of January against each other. Both teams have two opponents inside the playoff picture left remaining.
South Division Playoff Picture
The Wildcats and Brahmas remain in a tussle for the South Division Championship, however the Wildcats have the advantage with three weeks remaining. The Wildcats just need six points earned (or lost by the Brahmas) over their last six games to seal a South Division Semifinal matchup with either Corpus Christi or Odessa and their first South Division Title in program history. The Topeka RoadRunners clinched a playoff spot last weekend and are locked in to third place. They will play either Wichita Falls or Lone Star in the South Division Semifinals. Wichita Falls and Lone Star are locked in to home-ice advantage in the opening round of the Robertson Cup Playoffs. The Brahmas are the reigning South Division Playoff Champions.