NAHL Weekend Preview
February 12, 2016
The NAHL regular season schedule resumes on Friday and Saturday prior to the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament taking place on Monday and Tuesday in Plymouth, MI.
With the playoffs starting in less than two months and the rosters frozen for the season, teams have a limited amount of time to make a move in their divisions. The race for the top spot in each division is getting very close and this weekend offers some match-ups that will affect the standings.
Sunday will be a travel day for the players and coaches heading to Plymouth, Michigan.
Watch all the action this weekend live on FASTHockey
MN Magicians @ Austin (Fri) – The Bruins find themselves solidly in 3rd place in the Central, while the Magicians are locked in a dogfight for the final playoff spot, three points behind 4th place Brookings. The Magicians have won all three match-ups against the Bruins this season, including a home-and-home sweep back on January 29-30.
Brookings @ Aberdeen (Fri) – Like the Magicians, Aberdeen is right in the mix for the final playoff spot, just a few points back of 4th place. The Wings have controlled the season series, winning six of the nine games between the two teams, which includes the last six in a row.
Minot @ Bismarck (Fri) – The Bobcats lead in the Central Division is at one point as they host 2nd place Minot on Friday. Bismarck had their seven-game winning streak snapped last weekend by the Wilderness, while Minot is 5-0-1 in their last six. The Bobcats hold a 5-4 edge in the season series.
Minot @ Aberdeen (Sat) – Minot has a 7-3 edge in the series with the Wings. Minot forwards Max Reisinger and Troy Degler each have seven points in their last five games. The Wings have struggled to score in their last five games, recording just seven goals.
Bismarck @ Brookings (Sat) – The Bobcats are 5-2 against the Blizzard so far this season. Bismarck forward Aaron Herdt has seven points in his last five games, while Brookings forward Griff Jeszka has been on fire in his last five games, recording 10 points.
Aston @ Johnstown – Aston and Johnstown are separated in the standings by just two points with the Rebels in 1st place and the Tomahawks in 3rd. The Rebels have won four of their last six games and have a 5-3 edge in games against the Tomahawks so far this season. The Tomahawks are 5-1-1 in their last seven games.
New Jersey vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (home-and-home) – The Titans, who are in 2nd place, a point behind Aston, have taken seven of the 11 games in the series with the Knights this season. New Jersey forwards Roberts Smits and Bruno Birzitis each have six points in their last five games. Knights forward Jacob Hamacher has seven points in his last five games.
Kenai River @ Janesville – The Jets find themselves in the 4th and final playoff spot in the Midwest, but eight points ahead of the 5th place Chill. Now out of the playoff race, the Brown Bears are trying to play the spoiler role for the next two months. One of Kenai River’s three wins this season came back on September 18th in Janesville, however, the Jets have a 3-1 edge in the series.
Fairbanks @ Springfield – At 12 points, the Ice Dogs have the largest division lead in the NAHL. The Jr. Blues are in 3rd place and have won four of their last five games. Fairbanks won the only other meetings this season between the two clubs, which came back on January 15-16 in Fairbanks. Ice Dogs goalie CJ Booth has allowed one goal in his last two starts, while Jr. Blues goalie Niko Della Maggorie has allowed four goals in his last three appearances.
Coulee Region @ MN Wilderness (Fri) – The Wilderness have gone three straight weekend with a loss, followed by a win. Minnesota goalie Chase Munroe gas allowed two goals in his last two starts and forward Isak Bergland has six points in his last five games. The Wilderness have won the only two meetings between the clubs this season with wins on October 25th and December 11th.
Odessa @ Amarillo – The Bulls are well out of the playoff picture, while the Jackalopes are on a hot streak. Odessa has won six of their last seven and are now just two points out of the final playoff spot in the South. Odessa has five win in seven games against the Bulls this season. Odessa forward Derek Brown has seven points in his last five games.
Topeka @ Wichita Falls – The Wildcats have lost four in a row for the first time all season and their lead in the South is down to seven points. Topeka has won three in a row and seven of their last nine games. The season series between the two teams has been an even one to date, with each team winning three times in six games.
Lone Star @ Corpus Christi – The IceRays are two points ahead of Odessa in the South for the 4th and final playoff spot thanks to their 3-0 win over the Brahmas on Thursday night. The win snapped a three-game skid for the IceRays, who got all three goals in the win from Carter Johnson and 30 saves from Dryden McKay. The Brahmas hold a 5-3 edge in the season series.
Out of Division
MN Wilderness @ MN Magicians (Sat) – In the battle of Minnesota rivals, it has been all Wilderness as they have won six of the seven outings against the Magicians this season, including a sweep on January 8-9 when the two teams last met.
Austin @ Coulee Region (Sat) – The Chill hold a 4-3 edge in the season series with the Bruins, which includes a 4-3 win in Austin last weekend. The Chill have won the last three meetings with all the wins coming in Austin.