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NAHL Weekend Preview

February 23, 2018
A busy and exciting schedule greets NAHL teams this weekend as 20 games are on the schedule for Friday and Saturday.
There will be no games on Sunday as teams prep to send 120 players to the 2018 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, which takes place next week from February 27-28 at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan.
Just seven weekends remain in the 2017-18 NAHL regular season. There have been three Robertson Cup Playoff spots claimed already and the heat is really on the team’s in each division that are on the outside looking in the playoff hunt.
Besides the Central Division, it seems like just a matter of a few short weeks where the East, Midwest and South Divisions will crown their regular season champions.
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In the Central Division this weekend, the 1st place Aberdeen Wings take to the road to face the Bismarck Bobcats in a weekend series. The Wings have won four of the six games to date. The team right behind Aberdeen for 1st place is the Austin Bruins in 2nd place, who will host Minot for a pair of games. The Minotauros need wins, as they are three points back of Bismarck for the 4th and final playoff spot in the division. The Bruins have won three of the four games this season. The final series has the Minnesota Wilderness in Brookings for two games against the Blizzard. The Blizzard enter the weekend nine points out of the 4th and final playoff spot, having lost their last four games.
In the East Division, the Philadelphia own the largest lead of any of the division leaders at 17 points and look to keep closing in on a title as they face the New Jersey Titans in a home-and-home series. The Rebels have won 7 of the 11 match-ups to date against the Titans. The Johnstown Tomahawks host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights in the other series as both teams look to snap losing skids. Johnstown is 14 points out of a playoff spot with only 13 games remaining in their regular season. The Northeast Generals are idle.
In the Midwest Division, the Minnesota Magicians are now tied for 3rd place in the division with the Springfield Jr. Blues thanks to a 3-2 overtime win in Springfield on Thursday night. The two teams have two more games in Springfield on Friday and Saturday. The other intra-divisional series sees the continuation of the battle of Wisconsin as the Janesville Jets and Coulee Region Chill go at it in a home-and-home series. The Jets have won 4 of the 5 match-ups to date. The other teams in the division, Fairbanks and Kenai River, have traveled south for a pair of out-of-division match-ups as the Ice Dogs put their 21-game winning streak on the line against the Lone Star Brahmas, while the Brown Bears have their hands full with the 1st place Shreveport Mudbugs.
In the South, there is only one divisional match-up as the Amarillo Bulls head south to take on the Corpus Christi IceRays. With 15 games to go in their regular season, the Bulls find themselves 10 points behind the IceRays for the 4th and final playoff spot in the South, so the time to win has to be now for the Bulls. Meanwhile, the IceRays have won three straight games and are looking good. The battle of the past two Robertson Cup Champions takes place in North Richland Hills, Texas as the Lone Star Brahmas host the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. The 1st place Shreveport Mudbugs are also in action as they host Kenai River. Odessa and Topeka are both idle this weekend.
Friday, February 23
New Jersey at Philadelphia - 7:10 PM EST
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Johnstown - 7:30 PM EST
Coulee Region at Janesville - 7:00 PM CST
Minot at Austin - 7:05 PM CST
MN Wilderness at Brookings - 7:05 PM CST
Amarillo at Corpus Christi - 7:05 PM CST
MN Magicians at Springfield - 7:05 PM CST
Kenai River at Shreveport - 7:11 PM CST
Aberdeen at Bismarck - 7:15 PM CST
Fairbanks at Lone Star - 7:30 PM CST
Saturday, February 24
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Johnstown - 7:00 PM EST
Philadelphia at New Jersey - 7:00 PM EST
MN Magicians at Springfield - 6:05 PM CST
Janesville at Coulee Region - 7:00 PM CST
Minot at Austin - 7:05 PM CST
MN Wilderness at Brookings - 7:05 PM CST
Kenai River at Shreveport - 7:11 PM CST
Aberdeen at Bismarck - 7:15 PM CST
Fairbanks at Lone Star - 7:30 PM CST
Amarillo at Corpus Christi - 7:45 PM CST
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