Quad City Mallards hockey team moved to new Central Division
The Quad City Mallards will have a new division home when the 2016-17 ECHL hockey season gets underway this fall.
MyQCMallards.net reported that the league said Monday that a realignment and playoff restructuring puts the Mallards in the new Central Division. Quad City goes is joined by fellow former Midwest Division rivals Fort Wayne and Indy.
Other teams in the new Central Division are Kalamazoo, Toledo, Tulsa and Wichita. The division is in the Western Conference with the Mountain Division, which includes Alaska, Allen, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Rapid City and Utah.
The league has reverted to a four-division alignment after having six divisions last season.
The Eastern Conference has Adirondack, Brampton, Elmira, Manchester, Reading and Wheeling in the North Division, and Atlanta, Cincinnati, Florida, Greenville, Norfolk, Orlando and South Carolina in the South Division.
The league's playoff restructuring will have the top four regular-season finishers in each division qualify for the playoffs, with the first two rounds pitting division teams against each other based on division finish (top seed vs. fourth seed, second seed vs. third seed), with the winner of each first-round matchup meeting in the second round. The division-playoff winners will meet in the conference finals. Last season, playoff teams were not always matched up with division rivals in the first two rounds. The league said the new format will make travel cheaper.
Quad City opens its season at 7:05 p.m. Oct. 14 by hosting Fort Wayne at the iWireless Center in Moline.