The Victoria Royals did the Tri-City Americans a big favor Wednesday, beating the visiting Portland Winterhawks 4-3.
The Americans (49-17-2-2), who are No. 3 in this week's CHL poll, lead the U.S. Division and Western Conference with 102 points with two games to play.
Portland (100 points) also has two games remaining, as does Kamloops, but the B.C. Division champion Blazers don't have enough points left to grab the top spot in the Western Conference after losing 6-4 to Spokane on Wednesday.
The Edmonton Oil Kings lead the race for the Scotty Munro trophy with 103 points with two games remaining.
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Vancouver and Spokane each have 83 points and will play each other in the first round of the playoffs. They still are battling for home-ice advantage.
Victoria moved from eighth to seventh with the win over Portland, while Everett fell to eighth after a 4-2 loss at Kelowna.
Victoria, Everett, Seattle and Prince George are battling for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference.
Tri-City plays host to Everett on Friday and Spokane on Saturday to finish the regular season.
Single-game tickets for the Americans' first two playoff games March 23-24 at Toyota Center will go on sale Friday.
Portland was fourth in the CHL poll, while Edmonton was seventh and Kamloops eighth. The Saint John Sea Dogs remained atop the poll, while the London Knights were second.