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NAHL Weekend Preview

November 28, 2014
This week began early with five games on Wednesday and it will continue into this weekend in what is traditionally one of the busiest weekends in the NAHL with crowds and families eager to attend games.
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As far as the standings go, there are several key series this weekend. Here is a look at the match-ups:
Central Division
Austin @ Aberdeen – Both teams are coming off losses on Wednesday, which makes this weekend important between the Bruins and Wings, who sit in a tie for 2nd place in the Central Division with 27 points. The Bruins have lost four in a row and have faced the Wings four times this season. All four games to date have been decided by a goal and the Wings have won three of the four match-ups to date in either overtime or a shootout.
Minot @ Brookings (Sat) – The Minotauros are coming off a win on Wednesday, whereas the Blizzard lost in a shootout. Minot’s lead in the Central is at four points. The MInotauros and Blizzard have squared off just twice so far this season with the team’s splitting a series in Minot back on Oct. 24-25. Minot forward Blake Lizotte has nine points in his last five games.
Midwest Division
MN Magicians @ Coulee Region (home and home) – In the lone Midwest Division series, the Chill and the Magicians face-off in a home and home series separated by just two points in the standings. The Magicians are in desperate need of a win, as they have lost seven in a row. The Chill have posted splits in their last three series and this is their first divisional match-up since mid-October.
North Division
Janesville @ Johnstown – The big weekend in the North begins with the 1st place Jets on the road in Johnstown for the first match-up of the year between the two clubs. The Jets enjoy a four point lead atop of the North Division thanks to a 7-2 run in their last nine games. Jets forward Brandon Schultz had seven points in his last five games, while Johnstown forward Joe Drabin has six points in his last five games.
Soo @ Michigan – The Eagles have won three of their last four games and sit in 2nd place in the North with 29 points. Eight points back are the Warriors, who have not had a winning streak since mid-October. The Eagles have won both games played to date as they swept the Warriors in Flint back on Oct. 24-25. Warriors goalie Ryan Wischow leads the NAHL with a 95.1% save percentage.
Springfield @ Keystone – The Jr. Blues played the Ice Miners in one game last weekend with Keystone coming from behind to capture an overtime win. The two teams are separated by just a point in the North. The Jr. Blues have won four of their last six games, while Keystone have won just two of their last eight games. Each team has two wins in the four games played to date, which have all been in Springfield until this weekend.
South Division
Corpus Christi @ Rio Grande Valley – The IceRays have won five in a row and six of their last seven and are sitting comfortably in 4th place in the South. The Killer Bees are in the 6th and final playoff spot in the South, 10 points behind the IceRays. Surprisngly, the two teams have only met once to date, which was a 3-1 win by the IceRays at home back on November 12th.  IceRays forward Tanner Lomsnes has 10 points in his last five games
Wichita Falls @ Odessa – The Wildcats are one of the hottest teams in the league, winners of their last seven and nine of their last 10 games. Besides an opening night loss to the Jacks, the Wildcats have on the two other match-ups between the two teams. Their last meeting came in Odessa back on November 18th, which resulted in a 5-4 shootout win for the Wildcats. The Jackalopes have lost eight in a row, although four of those losses have been in overtime or a shootout.
Lone Star @ Topeka – Maybe the series of the weekend is taking place in Topeka as the 1st place RoadRunners host the hottest team in the league, the 2nd place Lone Star Brahmas. The Brahmas have won 10 in a row and 13 of their last 14 games. Lone Star and Topeka played back on Nov. 7-8 with the Brahmas sweeping their home series. Lone Star has the best defense in the league, allowing just 2.00 goals against per game. Topeka is 2nd with 2.17 goals against per game.
MN Wilderness @ Bismarck – Both teams are riding high from wins on Wednesday as the Bobcats beat the Blizzard and the Wilderness beat the Magicians. This weekend marks the first of eight meetings between the two clubs. The Wilderness are playing their best hockey of the season, winners of their last five games and six of their last seven. Wilderness forward Aaron Miller has seven points in his last five games, while Bobcats dman Joe Tyran has six points in his last five games.
Kenai River @ Wenatchee – Wenatchee has won four in a row including a weekend sweep of the Brown Bears last weekend in Kenai River. Zach Quinn has been hot of late in goal for the Wild, winning South Division honors last week. The Wild are 3-1-1 against Kenai River so far this season. Kenai River has lost four of their last six games and allowed 31 goals in that span. Forward Jack Gessert has six points in this last five games.
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