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NAHL Weekend Preview

October 16, 2015
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) gets back into the swing of things this weekend with a lighter than usual schedule. Most teams have been in full swing now for over a month and starting to separate themselves in the standings.
The NAHL will also enjoy a rare Sunday off, so the only games this weekend are on Friday and Saturday night. Three of the four division leaders are also in action.
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In the Central Division, 1st place Minot is on the road in Austin to face the Bruins, who are in a tie for 2nd place. Bismarck has two road games in Aberdeen and Brookings. The Wings have just the one game against the Bobcats, while the Blizzard host two games against the Magicians and Bobcats.
In the East, 1st place New Jersey will visit 2nd place Johnstown, while Aston will be in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for a pair of games.
In the Midwest, the only divisional match-up is the annual battle for the milk can in Wisconsin as Janesville and Coulee Region face one another in a home and home series.
In the South Division, Corpus Christi visits Amarillo with both teams desperate for wins, while Odessa travels to Wichita Falls.
Out of the divisions, Springfield is in Topeka, while the Wilderness play the Magicians.
Central Division
Minot @ Austin – It is a battle of 1st place Minot against 2nd place Austin. The Minotauros are one of the hottest teams in the league with six straight wins and this is the first meeting of the year against the Bruins. The Bruins have won five of their last eight games.
Bismarck @ Aberdeen (Fri) – The Bobcats had last weekend off and face the first of two tough road tests in Aberdeen on Friday. The Wings are tied for 2nd place in the Central, but have split the last two weekends. After winning their first two games, the Bobcats are currently riding a five-game losing streak and have scored just nine goals in that span.
MN Magicians @ Brookings (Fri) – The Blizzard enter Friday’s game having lost their last five straight games, while the Magicians have won just two of their last eight games. This is the first meeting of the season between the two clubs.
Bismarck @ Brookings (Sat) – Saturday is the first meeting of the year between Bismarck and Brookings. Last year was a very competitive series between the two clubs with Bismarck winning seven of the 12 match-ups.
East Division
New Jersey @ Johnstown – It is a battle for 1st place in the East as Johnstown hosts the Titans. After putting together a six-game winning streak, the Titans have dropped two of their last three games. The two teams have split their two games thus far with the Tomahawks winning the last match-up, 4-3 back on October 3rd.
Aston @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton – The Rebels are on fire, having won their last five games in the row and are sniffing 1st place. The Rebels faced the Knights back on October 3rd and came away with a 7-1 win. The Knights picked up their first NAHL win last weekend and have taken points in their last two games.
Midwest Division
Janesville vs. Coulee Region (home and home) – The Chill snapped a three-game losing streak with a win last Saturday, while the Jets had their three-game winning streak snapped last weekend.  Janesville is the best defensive team in the NAHL, allowing just 1.56 goals per game.
South Division
Corpus Christi @ Amarillo – Since winning their first game of the season, the Bulls have lost their last nine in a row. The IceRays are also on a small skid of their own, having been swept last weekend by Wichita Falls. The Bulls played the IceRays two weeks ago down in Corpus Christi, with the IceRays coming away with a sweep thanks to two one-goal wins.
Odessa @ Wichita Falls – The 1st place Wildcats have won three in a row and seven of their last eight games. Goalie Justin Kapelmaster has allowed just five goals in the last three games. The Jackalopes are a solid 5-3 through eight games and have won five out of their last six. The Jacks dropped their only game of the year against the Wildcats back on October 3rd by a 5-3 score.

Out of Division
Springfield @ Topeka – The Jr. Blues are one of the hottest teams in the league thanks in part to goalie Tommy Nappier. The Jr. Blues have taken points in their last five games. The RoadRunners are 3-3 in their last six games and were swept last weekend in Odessa. Both teams are in 3rd place in their respective divisions.
MN Wilderness @ MN Magicians (Sat) – The Wilderness beat the Magicians in Cloquet on Wednesday night, 4-2.  In that game, the Wilderness scored all four goals in the 1st period. Tyler Cline had four points in the game. The Wilderness have won five in a row and 27 goals in that five game span.
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