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NAHL Weekend Preview

January 12, 2018

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The days and weeks keep ticking away as the NAHL draws closer to the USA Hockey trading deadline and the cutoff and pending announcement for the 2018 Top Prospects rosters.
With that said, this weekend offers up another opportunity for teams to make a move in the standings as 21 games are slated from Friday-Sunday.
The NAHL had some more NCAA Division I commitments this week and now has 131 for the 2017-18 season entering this weekend, which is ahead of last year’s record-breaking number at this point of the season. One of the things the NAHL does better than any other junior league is seeing their players earn an NCAA opportunity while playing in the NAHL.
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Some current winning streaks have created a little bit more separation in the Central Division, but nine points is all that separates first and last place. Armed with the four-game winning streak, the 1st place Aberdeen Wings host the Bismarck Bobcats for a pair of games this weekend, with the Bobcats coming in having won two in the row. The other team on a roll is the Austin Bruins, who have won three in a row and are just a point behind the Wings in 2nd place. The Bruins look to keep their winning streak going with a home-and-home series against Brookings, who have lost their last five games. The final series has the Minnesota Wilderness hosting the Minot Minotauros for a pair of games as both teams are looking to snap small losing skids.
In the East Division, the top two teams will be doing battle as the 1st place Philadelphia Rebels host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. The Knights sit four points behind the Rebels for the top spot and each team has 28 games remaining in the regular season. The other series has the Northeast Generals visiting the Johnstown Tomahawks for three games. The Tomahawks, who are seven points out of the fourth and final playoff spot, are coming off a two-game home sweep of Kenai River. The New Jersey Titans, who last played a game on December 20th, are idle until Monday, January 15th.
In the Midwest Division, Janesville and Springfield will do battle for a second straight weekend, only this time the series will be in Janesville as the Jets put their four-game winning streak on the line as they look to keep pace with division-leading Fairbanks. The other series features the Coulee Region Chill on the road to take on the Kenai River Brown Bears. Both teams are on the outside looking in the playoff race and with the 4th place Minnesota Magicians idle this weekend, it is a great chance for both to start earning points to climb the standings. The 1st place Fairbanks Ice Dogs, who are 14-0-2 in their last 16 games, will host the Lone Star Brahmas this weekend from the South Division. The last time Fairbanks lost a game in regulation was back on November 10th at home to Bismarck.
In the South Division, the 3rd place Lone Star Brahmas are in Fairbanks in a cross-divisional match-up between the last two Robertson Cup Champions. The two other series features the 1st place Shreveport Mudbugs back in action from a 10-day layoff to host the Topeka RoadRunners. The Mudbugs are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, while Topeka is 2-7-1. The other series features the Amarillo Bulls back in action and trying to snap a seven-game losing skid as they travel to Corpus Christi to battle the IceRays. The IceRays are just three points out of the 3rd place thanks to only two regulation losses in their last 10 games.
Friday, January 12th 
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Philadelphia - 7:10 PM EST
Northeast at Johnstown - 7:30 PM EST
Springfield at Janesville - 7:00 PM CST
Brookings at Austin - 7:05 PM CST
Amarillo at Corpus Christi - 7:05 PM CST
Minot at MN Wilderness - 7:05 PM CST
Topeka at Shreveport - 7:11 PM CST
Bismarck at Aberdeen - 7:15 PM CST
Lone Star at Fairbanks - 7:30 PM AKST
Coulee Region at Kenai River - 7:30 PM AKST
Saturday, January 13th 
Northeast at Johnstown - 7:00 PM EST
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Philadelphia - 7:35 PM EST
Springfield at Janesville - 7:00 PM CST
Austin at Brookings - 7:05 PM CST
Amarillo at Corpus Christi - 7:05 PM CST
Minot at MN Wilderness - 7:05 PM CST
Topeka at Shreveport - 7:11 PM CST
Bismarck at Aberdeen - 7:15 PM CST
Lone Star at Fairbanks - 7:30 PM AKST
Coulee Region at Kenai River - 7:30 PM AKST
Sunday, January 14t
Northeast at Johnstown - 5:00 PM EST
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