NAHL Weekend Preview
March 4, 2016
It is another important weekend in the NAHL and once again, this week features nothing but exciting divisional match-ups.
The 2015-16 regular season has officially entered its final stages with just about a month to go and playoff races are tight.
Watch all the action this weekend live on FASTHockey
In the Central Division, there will be a key series in Aberdeen with the Magicians and Wings as both teams battle for the 4th and final playoff spot. #1 hosts #2 on Friday as Bismarck hosts intra-state rival Minot. Austin will be in Brookings on Friday, while the Blizzard will host the Bobcats on Saturday.
In the East, Johnstown is on the road twice in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday and in New Jersey on Saturday. Aston plays three times as they are in New Jersey on Friday and then have a home-and-home with the Knights on Saturday and Sunday.
In the Midwest, division-leading Fairbanks is in Springfield to face the Jr. Blues for the second weekend in a row. Janesville is in Cloquet to face the Wilderness and the Chill host the Brown Bears for a pair of games.
In the South, just one series will take place, but it will be a big one as 4th place Odessa hosts 5th place Corpus Christi as the two teams battle it out for the final playoff spot in the division for a second straight week.
MN Magicians @ Aberdeen – The Magicians and Wings are separated by a point for the 4th and final playoff spot in the Central Division, which makes the series very important for both teams. The two teams have only squared off four times and haven’t played one another since early October. Each team has won twice.
Minot @ Bismarck (Fri) - It is a battle of 1 and 2 in Bismarck as the Bobcats host the Minotauros with Bismarck holding a two-point edge in the standings. Bismarck has won five in a row and 12 of their last 14. The season series has been a standstill as each team has won five times in 10 games played to date. Minot enters the fame with a 5-1-1 record in their last seven.
Austin @ Brookings (Fri) – The Blizzard enter the weekend in a tie with the Magicians for the 4th and final playoff spot in the Central. Just six points ahead are the Bruins, who are now just a game over .500 as they have dropped 11 of their last 13 games. The Bruins have owned the season series to date against the Blizzard with five wins in the six games.
Bismarck @ Brookings (Sat) – Bismarck has won six of the eight match-ups to date against the Blizzard with the last win coming back on February 13th in Brookings during the last time the two teams played. Bobcats forward Alex Strand has seven points in his last five games.
Johnstown @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Fri) – The Tomahawks have controlled the season series with the Knights to date, winning 7 of the 11 games. The two teams split a series back on February 19-20. Johnstown has lost three of their last five games, while the Knights have won just two of their last 10.
Aston @ New Jersey (Fri) – It is yet another showdown of 1st and 2nd place as the Rebels take on 1st place New Jersey. The Titans are red-hot, having won eight of their last nine games, which includes a weekend sweep of the Rebels two weeks ago in a home-and-home series. However, the Rebels have a 6-4 advantage is the season series to date.
Aston vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (home and home) – The Rebels have dropped five points behind 1st place as they have lost three of their last four games. In the season series, each team has won seven games of the 14 games to date against one another.
Johnstown @ New Jersey (Sat) – New Jersey and Johnstown have already played 15 times this season, with the Titans holding a 9-6 edge. New Jersey goalie Spencer Wright has allowed just eight goals in his last four appearances. Johnstown goalie Andrew Lindgren has allowed just four goals in his last three appearances.
Kenai River @ Coulee Region – The Chill continue to stay hot behind NAHL Goalie of the Month for February, Matiss Kivlenieks. Thanks to a 6-2 run in their last six games, the Chill are just eight points out of the final playoff in the Midwest. In their only other meeting of the year, the Chill swept the Brown Bears back on November 13-14. Kenai River has lost 12 in a row.
Fairbanks @ Springfield – For the second straight week, Fairbanks and Springfield will face-off against one another. The Ice Dogs have won seven games in a row and have the NAHL’s best record. Last weekend, the swept the Jr. Blues in Fairbanks by scores of 2-1 (OT) and 4-2. Fairbanks has won all six meetings.
Janesville @ MN Wilderness – The Wilderness have fallen 17 points back of 1st place Fairbanks and now sit just seven points ahead of 3rd place Janesville on the heels of the weekend games. The Jets, led by NAHL Forward of the Month Taylor Fernandez, are 4-1-1 in their last six games and hold a 5-3 edge over the Wilderness in the season series.
Corpus Christi @ Odessa – Thanks to their sweep in Corpus Christi last weekend, the Odessa Jackalopes moved into the 4th and final playoff spot over the IceRays, who they will battle for a second straight week. The Jackalopes have won 8 of their last 10, while the IceRays have dropped 8 of their last 10. Each team has won four of the eight games to date.