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One playoff berth still up for grabs

March 8, 2011

The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) playoff picture has started to take shape with seven teams already solidifying postseason berths.

And while the St. Louis Jr. Blues, Peoria Mustangs, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks, Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins, Chicago Hitmen, Toledo Cherokee and Queen City Steam have already punched their tickets to the playoffs, one postseason spot is still up for grabs.

With three games remaining, the Quad City Jr. Flames have a hold on the eighth and final playoff position with 46 points, but, with 42 points and two games left on the schedule, the Flint Jr. Generals can still catch the Flames.

The top eight teams at the conclusion of the regular-season qualify for the NA3HL playoffs. The first round of the postseason showcases four best-of-three series in which the No. 1 seed hosts the No. 8 seed; No. 2 hosts No. 7; No. 3 hosts No. 6; and No. 4 hosts No. 5.

The winners of those four series will advance to the Hurster Cup Finals, which will take place from March 24-27 in Toledo, Ohio.

At the Hurster Cup Finals, the four participating teams will play a three-game round robin from March 24-26 with the top two teams at the conclusion of the round robin (most points) advancing to the Hurster Cup championship game, which will be played on March 27.

The two teams that advance to the championship game will earn a berth to the USA Hockey Tier III National Tournament. If one of those two teams is also the NA3HL’s regular-season champion, a third team will represent the league at nationals.

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