NAHL Weekend Preview
November 20, 2015
The action in the NAHL is hot and heavy this weekend with 22 games as every team is in action during the course of games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Thanks to some upsets to some division leaders in the last few weeks, the leads in all four divisions have been shrinking and the parity within the league is shining through. There has been so much parity in fact that the longest winning streak for any team entering the weekend is just three games.
This weekend has a nice selection of divisional match-ups, as well as, two exciting out-of-division series.
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Bismarck @ Austin – For the second straight weekend, the Bobcats and Bruins will tangle in a series. While Bismarck owns a 3-1 edge in the four games played to date, the Bruins managed a weekend split in Bismarck last weekend with a win on Saturday. Bobcats forward Alex Strand has six points in his last five games, while Austin forward Dawson DiPietro has five points in that same time span. Despite being a game under .500, the Bobcats have a +5 goal differential.
Brookings @ MN Magicians (Fri) – The Blizzard and Magicians also met one another last weekend with the Magicians earning three of four points thanks to a win and an OT loss. Overall the Blizzard still have the edge in the series, winning three of the five games played to date. The Magicians, who are in 4th place, sit just two points behind the 3rd place Blizzard.
Aberdeen @ Brookings (Sat) – The Blizzard go for the double dib on Saturday as they host Aberdeen. The Wings are in last place in the Central, but the difference in points between them and 3rd place Brookings is just four. Brookings has was both games to date against the Wings, including a 5-4 overtime win back on November 11th.
New Jersey @ Johnstown – The Tomahawks are set to host the 1st place Titans for three games this weekend. Johnstown snapped a six-game losing streak last weekend with a shootout win over Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. The Titans have owned the season series to date, winning four of the five match-ups thus far, which included a 7-3 win back on November 7th. Johnstown forward Luke Lynch has eight points in his last five games, while New Jersey forward Andrew Durham has six points in his last five games.
Aston vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (home and home) – The Rebels enter the weekend just three points out of 1st place and winners of six of their last seven games. The Rebels are just one of six NAHL teams with 13 or more wins. The Knights have been hot of late going 2-0-2 in their last four. Forward Braden Brown has scored the game-winning goal in the last three Knights wins. In the four match-ups to date between the two clubs, Aston owns a 3-1 edge, which includes a 4-3 shootout win back on November 7th.
Coulee Region @ Fairbanks – The Ice Dogs are coming off a very rare pair of home losses last weekend and look to get back on track against the Chill, who have won three of their last four, which included a pair of wins in Kenai River last weekend. Chill goalie Hunter Vorva has allowed just 10 goals in his last five starts. Fairbanks forward Todd Burgess has eight points (all assists) in his last five games. This is the first meeting of the year between the two teams.
Janesville @ Kenai River – The Jets have won three of their last five games entering the series, which includes a weekend sweep in Fairbanks a week ago. You have to turn the calendar back all the way to September 18-19 to find the last team the two teams played. In that series, the Brown Bears picked up their only win to date, which was a 4-3 overtime triumph in Janesville. Since that point, it has been 18 straight losses for the Brown Bears. Kenai River forward Sam Carlson has two goals in his last four games. Janesville goalie Jack LaFontaine has allowed just six goals in his last four appearances.
Lone Star @ Corpus Christi – The Brahmas and IceRays complete games two and three of their weekend set on Friday and Saturday. On Thursday, the IceRays began the three-game series with a 4-3 overtime win over the Brahmas. Rookie defenseman Simon Butala had two assists and Drake Lindsay scored the OT-winner. The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the IceRays. It was the 4th overtime or shootout loss for the Brahmas, who still have just one regulation loss this season, which came all the way back on October 2nd.
Odessa @ Wichita Falls (Fri) – The 1st place Wildcats renew pleasantries with the Jackalopes for the second time this week. Back on Tuesday, the Wildcats defeated the Jacks in Odessa, 3-2. The Wildcats have won all four match-ups to date between the two teams. Adam Goodsir had the game-winning goal in the contest to complete a multi-point game, which Derek Brown had a multi-point game for Odessa.
Wichita Falls @ Amarillo (Sat) – The Bulls enter the weekend having lost three straight and five of their last six. Bulls goalie Anton Martinsson has been busy between the pipes, starting the last seven games. The two teams split a series in Amarillo two weeks ago. Bulls forward Johan Lundgren has three points in his last five games to lead the team, while Wildcats forward Austin Albrecht has six points in his last five games.
Odessa @ Amarillo (Sun) – It is a quick turnaround for the Bulls, who have to face Odessa on Sunday after the Jacks are off on Saturday. The season series between the two clubs has been even so far, with each club winning twice. Amarillo picked up a 3-2 shootout win during the last time the two teams played back on October 24th in Odessa.
Out of Division
Topeka @ Springfield – For the 7th and 8th time in the last six weeks, the RoadRunners and Jr. Blues will face one another. It has been a seesaw series to date with the RoadRunners winning each of the three Friday night games, only to see Springfield turn around and win all three games on Saturday. The Jr. Blues are in 3rd place in the Midwest, just one point behind 2nd place thanks to a 7-1-1 record in their last nine games. Topeka has dropped three of their last five games.
MN Wilderness @ Minot – The Wilderness had their four-game winning streak snapped last weekend as they were swept in Janesville. Minot is 3-1 in the month of November, which includes a split with Aberdeen last weekend. Scoring has been tough to come by for the Minotauros, who have scored 13 goals in their last seven games. The two teams split their only series to date back on October 23-24 in Minnesota. Minot forward Derek Frentz has four points in his last four games. Wilderness forward Aaron Miller has eight points in his last five games.