The Playoff Push: Jan. 26, 2024

By USPHL Staff

We have hit the stretch run of the NCDC season, where teams will be jockeying for – and clinching – playoff positions ahead of the postseason that begins in late March. We’ll be tracking what teams need to do to both clinch straight-up playoff berths and also following teams’ paths to sowing up home ice and specific playoff seeds as we get further down the road.


First things first: Nothing will actually be settled today in terms of berths.

We do have a great two-game Interdivisional series starting today between the league-leading P.A.L. Jr. Islanders and Islanders Hockey Club, the New England Division leaders who are also second overall in the league points race. Eight points separate the two, so there could be some early drama related to the overall Founders Cup race towards the end of March.

The P.A.L. Jr. Islanders remain the only team in the NCDC to have clinched a playoff berth. Right now, their next quest is sealing up home ice. Their “magic number” versus the Mercer Chiefs is 7. That means any combination of P.A.L. points gained or Mercer points lost totaling 7 will clinch at least home ice for P.A.L.

The Islanders Hockey Club has a magic number of 5 against the Northern Cyclones. Hitting that five-point mark will clinch a playoff berth for the Islanders.