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NAHL Weekend Preview

March 2, 2018

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Coming off the widely successful and highly scouted NAHL Top Prospects Tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday, the NAHL gets back into regular season action this weekend as the calendar turns to March. The schedule is jam-packed this weekend with 24 games.
Three more players have made NCAA commitments since the Top Prospects Tournament, bringing the current season total to 168 commitments, further reinforcing that when it comes to making an NCAA commitment while playing in a junior hockey league, no one does it better than the NAHL. 
The countdown towards the 2018 Robertson Cup Playoffs is officially underway with just five weeks remaining in the regular season.
Four teams (Fairbanks Ice Dogs, Shreveport Mudbugs, Philadelphia Rebels, and Janesville Jets) have already clinched playoff spots, meaning there are just 13 spots left to be had.
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In the Central Division this weekend, it is a battle of match-ups between teams that are close to one another in the standings as 1 plays 2, 3 plays 4 and 5 plays 6. The 1st place Aberdeen Wings host the 2nd place Austin Bruins this weekend, with the Bruins just two points back. The 3rd place Minnesota Wilderness will host the 4th place Bismarck Bobcats, with the Bobcats just three points back of 3rd place. Meanwhile, it may be a do or die weekend for the Minotauros and Blizzard as they do battle in Brookings in a pair of games, with both teams needing valuable points to climb that standings in order to get into playoff position.
In the East, the Northeast Generals and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights will have a full schedule of three games, with the Generals in 4th place just two points behind 3rd place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. #1 and #2 do battle this weekend as the Philadelphia Rebels are in New Jersey for a pair of games against the Titans. With the Rebels lead at 18 points over the Titans, a couple of wins would bring them that much closer to locking up the division.
In the Midwest, the 2nd place Janesville Jets started their weekend on the right note with a 6-4 home win over Coulee Region on Thursday. This weekend they travel to Springfield to take on the Jr. Blues, who are in a 3rd place tie with the Minnesota Magicians. The Magicians will play host to Coulee Region for a pair of games. Meanwhile, division-leading Fairbanks will put their 23-game winning streak on the line in the South as they face the team with the second best record in the league, the Shreveport Mudbugs in a 1 vs. 2 NAHL match-up. The Kenai River Brown Bears are also down South in Texas to take on the Lone Star Brahmas.
In the South, with Shreveport hosting Fairbanks and Lone Star hosting Kenai River, the other series features 3rd place Odessa going on the road to face 4th place Corpus Christi. The IceRays are just three points back of the Jackalopes in the standings. It is a do or die weekend in Topeka as the Amarillo Bulls visit the RoadRunners. Both teams are on the outside looking in the playoff picture and need points. On Sunday, Shreveport will travel to Lone Star for each team’s third game of the weekend.
Friday, March 2
Philadelphia at New Jersey - 7:00 PM EST
Northeast at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - 7:30 PM EST
MN Magicians at Coulee Region - 7:00 PM CST
Minot at Brookings - 7:05 PM CST
Odessa at Corpus Christi - 7:05 PM CST
Bismarck at MN Wilderness - 7:05 PM CST
Janesville at Springfield - 7:05 PM CST
Amarillo at Topeka - 7:05 PM CST
Fairbanks at Shreveport - 7:11 PM CST
Austin at Aberdeen - 7:15 PM CST
Kenai River at Lone Star - 7:30 PM CST
Saturday, March 3
Philadelphia at New Jersey - 7:00 PM EST
Janesville at Springfield - 6:05 PM CST
Northeast at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - 7:30 PM EST
Minot at Brookings - 7:05 PM CST
Odessa at Corpus Christi - 7:05 PM CST
Coulee Region at MN Magicians - 7:05 PM CST
Bismarck at MN Wilderness - 7:05 PM CST
Amarillo at Topeka - 7:05 PM CST
Fairbanks at Shreveport - 7:11 PM CST
Austin at Aberdeen - 7:15 PM CST
Kenai River at Lone Star - 7:40 PM CST
Sunday, March 4
Northeast at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - 2:00 PM EST
Shreveport at Lone Star - 4:00 PM CST
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