NAHL Weekend Preview
October 23, 2015
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) had an extended week of games this week featuring contests from Thursday through Sunday. While the divisional action is fairly light this weekend, the out-of-division action heats up, particularly with a trip from East Division teams out to Alaska.
The action this weekend features all four division leaders in action, as well as, all four teams that are currently in last place and needing valuable points to climb the standings.
In the Central Division, Austin is in Aberdeen, while the Minnesota Magicians travel to the surging Bismarck Bobcats.
In the East Division, with Aston and Johnstown heading to Alaska, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and New Jersey will engage in a home-and-home series.
In the Midwest, two of the hotter teams collide as Janesville visits Springfield, while the Wilderness travel to Coulee Region on Sunday.
In the South, it is a full slate of divisional action as Amarillo travels to Odessa, Topeka travels to Corpus Christi, and top teams collide when Wichita Falls makes the short trip south to face Lone Star.
Outside of divisional play, two hot teams meet when Minot travels to Cloquet to take on the Wilderness. Aston is in Fairbanks and Johnstown is in Kenai River.
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Austin @ Aberdeen – It is the first meeting of the season between Austin and Aberdeen. The Bruins are just 1-3-1 in their last five games, but occupy 2nd place in the Central Division. The Wings are just 2-3 in their last five games, but sit just a point behind the Bruins in a tie for 3rd place. Of the Wings 11 goals in their last five games, forward Colin Raver has scored five of them.
Magicians @ Bismarck – The Bobcats, who are coming off a two-game weekend road sweep host the Magicians, who have lost three straight. This is the first meeting of the year between the two teams. Bismarck forward Nick Alexander is the reigning player of the week in the division, while Magicians forward Connor Bucsis has four points in his last five games.
WBS Knights vs. New Jersey (home and home) – The 1st place Titans continue to roll, going 3-1-1 in their last five games. They are also 2-0 this season so far against the Knights with wins of 6-0 back on October 2nd and 2-1 on October 9th. Titans forward Raymond Brice has four goals in his last five games. The Knights are 2-2-1 in their last five games and forward Paul Maust has five points in that span.
Janesville @ Springfield – The Jets and Jr. Blues enter this season with the exact same record (7-3-1) and number of points (15) as they sit in a 3rd place tie in the division. The Jr. Blues are 3-1-1 in their last five games and defeated the Jets 2-1 in their only meeting to date back on October 9th. The Jets are allowing a league-low 1.36 goals per game thanks to goalies Jack LaFontaine and Blake Weyrick.
Wilderness @ Coulee Region (Sun) – In a rematch of last year’s divisional semi-final, the Chill play their only game of the weekend against a Wilderness team that will be coming off two home games against Minot on Friday and Saturday. The Chill offense has struggled as they rank 21 out of 22 in goals scored per game, while the Wilderness have a Top 7 defense. In his last five games, Wilderness forward Tyler Cline has 13 points. This is the first meeting of the year between the two clubs.
Amarillo @ Odessa – The Bulls and Jacks will round out their three-game series, which began on Thursday in Odessa. The Bulls got their first sweep of the season last weekend as they snapped a nine-game losing streak. The Bulls defeated the Jacks back on September 12th in Amarillo by a score of 6-3. Jack defenseman Cooper Zech has five points in his last five games to lead the team.
Topeka @ Corpus Christi – The IceRays and the RoadRunners tangle on Pink in the Rink weekend in Corpus Christi with games on Thursday and Saturday. The IceRays have dropped to 5th in the standings, while Topeka enters the weekend in 2nd place, but also having played an NAHL-high 15 games to date. The teams split a series in Topeka back on September 18th and 20th.
Wichita Falls @ Lone Star – Two of the current top teams in the division face-off against one another as the 1st place Wildcats travel to take on the 3rd place Brahmas. Wichita Falls and Lone Star are two of the four teams in the NAHL with just a single loss in regulation. This is the first meeting of the year between the two teams. The Wildcats have won five in a row, while the Brahmas are on a two-game winning streak.
Out of Division
Minot @ Wilderness – The two current hottest teams in the league are on a collision course as Minot travels to Cloquet to face the Wilderness. The Minotauros own the NAHL’s longest winning streak at eight straight games, while the Wilderness currently own the second longest streak at six straight wins. Minot has yet to lose a game in regulation on the road.
Aston @ Fairbanks – The Rebels and the Ice Dogs are two of the nine teams in the NAHL with seven wins or more. Fairbanks is always tough to beat at home and have a 4-0 home record so far this year. The Rebels come into Fairbanks having gone 4-1 in their last five games. Defenseman Kristofer Bindulis has seven points in his last five games. Fairbanks is 3-1-1 in their last five games and forward Cayden Cahill has six goals in that span.
Johnstown @ Kenai River – The Tomahawks occupy 2nd place in the East, but have won just one of their last five games played. Forward Andrew Romano has six points in his last five games to lead the Tomahawks. The Brown Bears have lost their last nine in a row and have just one win to date, which came back on September 18th. Forward Cameron Cook has seven points in his last five games.