NAHL Weekend Preview
December 18, 2015
This weekend in the NAHL, the out-of-division match-ups take center stage as teams close in the Christmas holiday.
The halfway point of the 2015-16 regular season is also just a few weeks away, so jockeying for playoff positioning is in full swing.
As another reminder, NAHL Top Prospect teams are also announced later in January, so players have just a few weeks left to make an impact.
Watch all this weekend’s action live on FASTHockey
In the Central Division, Brookings is on the road twice, while Aberdeen is home twice. Both Bismarck and Minot will be home once and away once.
In the East Division, the majority of the action is out of the division against the Alaska teams, but there are a few games with Johnstown at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Aston on Sunday.
In the Midwest, all the teams have out-of-division games
In the South, Corpus Christi is at Amarillo, while Lone Star is at Wichita Falls.
Brookings @ Aberdeen (Fri) – Brookings has a 3-2 edge over the Wings this year, but those two wins for Aberdeen came in the last two meetings, which both were in Aberdeen, including a 4-3 overtime win by the Wings on December 9th. Three of the five games to date have been decided in OT.
Bismarck @ Minot (Fri) – The Bobcats enter the weekend as one of the league’s hottest teams, winners of their last five in a row. The series with Minot is even at 2-2, but the Bobcats swept the last series between the teams on December 4-5. Minot has lost four in a row and five of their last six.
Minot @ Aberdeen (Sat) – The Minotauros have had success against the Wings so far this season, going 3-1 to date against them. However, all the games have been decided by just a goal. Aberdeen has lost four of their last five games.
Brookings @ Bismarck (Sat) – Bismarck goalie Hunter Shepard is having a very good stretch, going 5-0 with a 1.40 GAA and a 95.1% save percentage during the Bobcats current winning streak. The Bobcats have won two the three meetings with the Blizzard this season, including a 5-1 win on December 12th.
Johnstown @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Sat) – After putting together their longest win streak of the season three weeks ago, the Tomahawks have dropped three straight. The Knights have won two of their last three. In the six games played to date against one another, each club has won three games.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton @ Aston (Sun) – Sunday will be Aston’s third game of the weekend. The Rebels have won two in a row and three of their last four, as they sit two points ahead of Johnstown for 2nd place in the East. In eight games against the Knights this season, the Rebels are 5-3.
Midwest Division – No divisional games
Corpus Christi @ Amarillo – With 4th place Odessa off, this weekend is a chance for both the IceRays and Bulls to try and gain ground on the final playoff spot. The two teams split a weekend series in Corpus Christi last weekend as both games finished 2-1. The season series is even at 3-3. Bulls goalie Anton Martinsson, who leads the league in saves, is also 2nd in save percentage with a 93.1% mark.
Lone Star @ Wichita Falls – The Brahmas offense exploded for eight goals on Thursday night as they snapped the Wildcats nine-game winning streak with an 8-2 win. It was just the second win for the Brahmas in seven games against the Wildcats. The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Brahmas, who had scored four goals in that span.
Out of Division
Fairbanks @ New Jersey – A pair of division leaders collide in New Jersey as the Titans host the Ice Dogs. It marks the first ever meeting between the two teams. The Ice Dogs are 5-0-2 in their last seven games and their last regulation loss was on November 14th. Meanwhile, New Jersey has won three straight.
Kenai River @ Aston – The Brown Bears snapped their regulation loss streak last weekend with an overtime loss in New Jersey, but their record remains at 1-26-1. The Rebels swept a series in Kenai River back on October 30-31 with wins of 5-3 and 7-2. Aston forward Ryan Cusin has eight points in his last five games.
Topeka @ Springfield – Winners of their last nine in a row, the RoadRunners are the hottest team going in the NAHL. This will be the final meeting of the year between the two clubs, who have met 10 times previously. Topeka holds a 7-3 edge, which includes winning the last four games between the two teams. The Jr. Blues are 2-0-1 in their last three games
MN Magicians @ Coulee Region (Fri) – The Magicians are playing really well as of late, winners of their last three and four of their last five. They sit just one point out of the final playoff spot in the Central and just six points back of 1st place. The Magicians have won two of the three games against the Chill this season with all of the games being played in Coulee Region to date.
MN Wilderness @ Austin (Fri) – It is another Robertson Cup Finals rematch from last year as the Wilderness visit Austin. Minnesota has won both games to date, which came in a home-and-home series back on October 9-10. The Wilderness are 4-0-2 in their last six games and their last regulation loss was on November 14th.
Austin @ Coulee Region (Sat) – The Bruins and the Chill have played three times to date, with Austin holding a 2-1 edge. That included a 4-1 win in Coulee Region back on November 25th when the two teams met last. Austin has won four of their last five and six of their last eight. The Chill have one win in their last seven games.
MN Wilderness @ MN Magicians – The Magicians bugaboo has been how to try and beat the Wilderness, as the Wilderness have won all four meetings this season. Magicians forward Mitch Slattery has eight points in his last five games. Wilderness defenseman Janis Jaks has six points in his last five games.