NAHL Weekend Preview
January 15, 2016
It is a busy weekend in the NAHL as all 22 teams are in action and points are at a premium as all the games feature intra-divisional match-ups.
This is also the last opportunity for teams to try and advance up in the standings as after January 18th the standings will be frozen for determination of spots for NAHL Top Prospects rosters and coaches.
As always, you can watch the action live on FASTHockey
In the Central Division, Brookings and Austin have a home-and-home series, as do Aberdeen and Bismarck. The Minnesota Magicians are on the road in Minot for two games
In the East, Johnstown is at Aston on Friday, while New Jersey is at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. On Saturday, Aston is at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while Johnstown is at New Jersey.
In the Midwest, Coulee Region and Janesville battle in a home-and-home series, while Springfield is at Fairbanks and the Minnesota Wilderness are at Kenai River.
Finally in the South, Wichita Falls is at Amarillo, Corpus Christi is in Lone Star and Odessa travels to Topeka for a three-game set.
Brookings vs. Austin (home and home) – The Blizzard fell in overtime to Aberdeen earlier in the week and have won two of their last 10 games. The Bruins are two points ahead of the pack for the top spot in the Central and have won three of their last five. The two teams have played just twice so far this season, which came back on October 2-3 with the Bruins posting a home-and-home sweep.
Bismarck vs. Aberdeen (home and home) – Two wins would keep the Bobcats with the best winning percentage in the division, while the Wings are trying to take the momentum from their overtime win in Brookings earlier in the week to build off of. The Bobcats had a four-game win streak snapped last weekend, but do hold a 4-0 record against Aberdeen this season, with all four wins coming on the road.
Minnesota Magicians @ Minot – While Minot sits in a tie for 2nd place in the division, the Magicians are just a point out of the fourth and final playoff spot. Minnesota has dropped their last four games and five of their last six, while the Minotauros snapped a four-game slide with a win last Saturday. The two teams have squared off just twice with the Magicians sweeping the Minotauros back on December 11-12.
Johnstown @ Aston (Fri) – On Friday, the Tomahawks visit the Rebels. Aston goalie Darion Hanson is the reigning star of the week in the East. The Tomahawks have won just three of their last eight games. The Rebels own a 5-2 record so far this season against Johnstown.
New Jersey @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Fri) – The Knight have won three of their last five games, while the Titans have won just once in their last four. New Jersey holds the season edge thus far between the two teams with a 5-3 record.
Aston @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Sat) – The Rebels are in a tie for 1st place in the East with New Jersey, but have played one more game. The two teams have played nine games so far to date with the Rebels holding a slim 5-4 edge. The Knights are just four games below .500.
Johnstown @ New Jersey – If the Titans can manage to win both games this weekend, they have a good chance at having the best winning percentage for the Top Prospects cut off date. In eight games against the Knights so far this season, the Titans hold a 5-3 edge.
Coulee Region vs. Janesville (home and home) – In the battle of Wisconsin and the old milk can, the Chill and Jets will tangle in a home-and-home series. The Chill are one of the hottest teams in the league with four straight wins and winners of five of their last six. That is thanks in large part to their defense and goaltending, which has allowed just nine goals in their last six games. Although they hold a 3-1 edge in the series, the Jets have won just one of their last five games.
Springfield @ Fairbanks – Thanks to a 10-1-1 run in their last 12 games, the Ice Dogs are closing in on the top spot in the NAHL. The Jr. Blues had won four in a row before being swept last weekend in Coulee Region. This weekend marks the first meeting of the year between the two teams, who will meet again in Springfield on March 4-5. Springfield sits in 3rd place in the Midwest Division.
MN Wilderness @ Kenai River – Fresh off their second win of the season, the Brown Bears head into the weekend with the debut of their new head coach Jeff Worlton, who takes over after coaching the NA3HL’s Breezy Point North Stars this season. The Wilderness come into the series in 2nd place in the Midwest and winners of their last three games. The Wilderness beat the Brown Bears in their only other series to take back on October 2-3 by a combined score of 15-3.
Wichita Falls @ Amarillo – After a three-game losing skid at the end of December, the Wildcats have gotten back on track with four consecutive wins. The Bulls have dropped their last three and need wins as they sit in last place in the South, 12 points out of the 4th and final playoff spot. The Wildcats hold a 4-1 edge in the season series to date. That includes a weekend sweep by the Wildcats back on December 31 and January 1.
Corpus Christi @ Lone Star – The IceRays had their five-game winning streak ended last weekend in Wichita Falls, but have still won 8 of their last 12 games. The Brahmas are comfortably in 2nd place in the South Division and have a 7-1-1 record in their last nine games. The two teams have played just three times, which came back in Corpus Christi on November 19-21, with the Brahmas winning two of the three games.
Odessa @ Topeka – This weekend marks the debut of new Topeka head coach Josh Kamrass. The RoadRunners have won just one of their last five games. The Jackalopes are also going through a tough stretch having lost their last three games and just one of their last 12 games. The two teams have split the four games to date, with Odessa winning a series on October 9-10 and Topeka winning a series on December 11-12