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NAHL Weekend Preview: Divisional Semi-Finals

April 21, 2017
This weekend features the conclusion of the Division Semi-Finals, which are a best of five series. The first team to win three games, will advance to the Division Finals.
While Corpus Christi punched their ticket to the South Finals earlier in the week, six of the seven remaining series stand at 2-0.
The Division Finals are slated to begin next weekend, with the Robertson Cup Championship taking place from May 11-14 in Duluth, Minnesota.
Click here for the Robertson Cup Event page
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Central Division Semi-Finals (best of 5 series)
#1 Minot Minotauros vs. #4 Aberdeen Wings (Aberdeen leads series, 2-0) – Minot has their backs against the wall after they dropped both games at home and now have to go on the road to the Odde Ice Center and try and find a way to win two games to get the series back to Minot on Monday. Aberdeen goalie Forbes Ploszaj has stopped 45 of 47 shots in the first two games and four Wings players have two points in the first two games.
Game 1: Aberdeen 3 @ Minot 1
Game 2: Aberdeen 3 @ Minot 1 
Game 3: April 21, Minot @ Aberdeen, 7:15PM 
Game 4: April 22, Minot @ Aberdeen, 7:15PM*
Game 5: April 24, Aberdeen @ Minot, 7:05PM*
*if necessary
#2 Minnesota Wilderness vs. #3 Brookings Blizzard (Series tied, 1-1) – The Wilderness vs. Blizzard series is the only one that is tied at 1-1, ensuring a Game 4 on Saturday regardless of the Friday outcome. Both teams enter Game 3 with questions of who will start in goal. After giving up 6 goals on Friday, Josh Boyko was replaced by Jake Begley, who promptly won Game 2 for the Blizzard. Conversely, it looks like Luke Kania may start for the Wilderness after winning Game 1 and then coming into the game in relief of Trevor Micucci in Game 2. Blizzard defenseman Tim Faulkner is tied for the playoff scoring lead with four points.
Game 1: Brookings 3 @ MN Wilderness 6
Game 2: Brookings 4 @ MN Wilderness 3 (OT)
Game 3: April 21, MN Wilderness @ Brookings, 7:05PM
Game 4: April 22, MN Wilderness @ Brookings, 7:05PM
Game 5: April 24, Brookings @ MN Wilderness, 7:05PM*
*if necessary
East Division Semi-Finals (best of 5 series)
#1 Aston Rebels vs. #4 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (Aston leads series, 2-0) – The Knights kept things close in the first two games, but it is going to take more than a goal a game to unseat the Rebels. Aston goalie Mareks Mitens has picked up right where he left off in the regular season, by stopping 41 of 43 shots in the first two games. Rebels forward Jensen Zerban has two goals in the first two games to lead the Rebels.
Game 1: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 1 @ Aston 3
Game 2: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 1 @ Aston 2
Game 3: April 21, Aston @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:30PM
Game 4: April 22, Aston @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:30PM*
Game 5, April 24, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton @ Aston, 7:00PM*
*if necessary
#2 Johnstown Tomahawks vs. #3 New Jersey Titans (New Jersey leads series, 2-0) – New Jersey goalie Ryan Ferland has been the star of the series thus far, shutting down one of the highest-scoring offenses in the league and now the Titans are on home ice to try and close out the series. Ferland has stopped 50 of 51 shots in the first two games. New Jersey forward Nick Boyagian leads the Titans with two goals in the opening two games.
Game 1: New Jersey 3 @ Johnstown 1
Game 2: New Jersey 1 @ Johnstown 0
Game 3: April 21, Johnstown @ New Jersey, 7:45PM
Game 4: April 22, Johnstown @ New Jersey, 7:45PM*
Game 5: April 24, New Jersey @ Johnstown, 7:00PM*
*if necessary
Midwest Division Semi-Finals (best of 5 series)
#1 Janesville Jets vs. #4 Coulee Region Chill (Janesville leads series, 2-0) – The Jets have done a good job of taking care of home ice and silencing the potent offense that the Chill possess. Defensemen Blake Wareham and Carter Ekberg are pacing the Jets at both ends of the rink, while goalie Jake Barczewski has stopped 77 of 81 shots in the first two games of the series, which now shifts to Coulee Region.
Game 1: Coulee Region 2 @ Janesville 3
Game 2: Coulee Region 2 @ Janesville 3 (2OT)
Game 3: April 21, Janesville @ Coulee Region, 7:00PM
Game 4: April 22, Janesville @ Coulee Region, 7:00PM*
Game 5: April 23, Coulee Region @ Janesville, 7:00PM*
*if necessary
#2 Fairbanks Ice Dogs vs. #3 Minnesota Magicians (Fairbanks leads series, 2-0) – The Ice Dogs took a stranglehold of the series, both winning the first two games on the road. Overall, Fairbanks has now won 11 straight games dating back to the regular season. Ice Dogs goalie Erik Gordon has stopped 49 of 51 shots in the first two games as the remainder of the series switches back to Fairbanks. Ice Dogs forward Hampus Eriksson has three points in the first two games.
Game 1: Fairbanks 2 @ MN Magicians 1
Game 2: Fairbanks 4 @ MN Magicians 1
Game 3: April 21, MN Magicians @ Fairbanks, 7:30PM
Game 4: April 22, MN Magicians @ Fairbanks, 7:30PM*
Game 5: April 23, MN Magicians @ Fairbanks, 6:00PM*
*if necessary
South Division Semi-Finals (best of 5 series)
#1 Lone Star Brahmas vs. #4 Wichita Falls Wildcats (Lone Star leads series, 2-0) – The Brahmas cruised to two wins last weekend and are a game away from moving onto the South Finals as the series shifts North to Wichita Falls. Lone Star goalie Max Prawdzik faced just 43 shots in the first two games and posted one shutout. Meanwhile, Brahmas forwards Pete Kessel and Aidan Spellacy share the playoff scoring lead with four points in their first two games. The Wildcats may have a decision to make in goal as Jared Dempsey allowed eight goals on 65 shots in the first two games.
Game 1: Wichita Falls 0 @ Lone Star 3
Game 2: Wichita Falls 3 @ Lone Star 7 
Game 3: April 21, Lone Star @ Wichita Falls, 7:05PM
Game 4: April 22, Lone Star @ Wichita Falls, 7:05PM*
Game 5: April 23, Wichita Falls @ Lone Star, 7:00PM*
*if necessary
#2 Shreveport Mudbugs vs. #3 Corpus Christi IceRays (Corpus Christi wins series, 3-0) – With a 2-1 overtime win on Wednesday, the Corpus Christi IceRays became the first team to punch their ticket to the division finals. The drawback for the IceRays is they now have to wait to see who they play and the fact that they will not be able to play any of the South Finals games at the American Bank Center due to the ice being taken out for other events. Goalie Tomas Vomacka was lights out in the opening series, allowing just four goals in three games against 111 shots. Larry Jungwirth and Mason Krueger each have three points for the IceRays.
Game 1: Corpus Christi 2 @ Shreveport 0
Game 2: Corpus Christi 5 @ Shreveport 3
Game 3: Shreveport 1 @ Corpus Christi 2 (OT)
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