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NAHL Weekend Preview

March 16, 2018
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) gets back into action this weekend with 24 games on the schedule from Friday through Sunday. This week’s action already got underway with four games on Thursday night.
Just a handful of games and couple weeks remain until the end of the 2017-18 regular season and more playoff spots are likely to be clinched this weekend. In addition, several teams are closing in on regular season divisional titles. 
It all should make for an exciting weekend as crunch time is here!
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In the Central Division this weekend, playoff lives are on the line as the 3rd place Minnesota Wilderness travel to Bismarck to face the Bobcats, who are tied for 4th place. However, the Bobcats only have six games remaining and need wins because they are tied with the Minot Minotauros for 4th place, who have played two fewer games. Minot plays host to Austin, who is firmly in 2nd place in the division. The Bruins need just a few more points to clinch a playoff spot. The 1st place Aberdeen Wings look to take a step close to a division title as they take on the Brookings Blizzard in a home-and-home series. 
In the East, the Northeast Generals get back into action with a three-game set at Johnstown. Realistically, the Tomahawks need to win all three games in regulation to get back in the playoff race, as they are nine points back of the Generals for the 4th and final spot with just eight games to go. Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton wrap up their two-game series on Friday after the Rebels moved to within a point of clinching the East’s top spot after a 7-3 win on Thursday. The New Jersey Titans will play two games on the weekend as they host the Knights on Saturday and travel to Philadelphia on Sunday.
In the Midwest Division, things are almost set for the playoffs as the Fairbanks Ice Dogs used a 7-3 win on Thursday over Janesville to move close to a division title. Meanwhile, the Springfield Jr. Blues moved to the cusp of clinching a playoff spot with a 4-3 win in Kenai River on Thursday. Each of the four teams will play in two more games during the weekend. The Minnesota Magicians are also close to clinching a playoff spot and have a chance to do so this weekend with a home-and-home series against Coulee Region. The Chill are 12 points out of the final playoff spot with just eight games to go.
In the South Division, the Odessa Jackalopes are just a point away from clinching a playoff spot and will try to do so this weekend in Shreveport, as the Mudbugs look to move closer to the South title. The Lone Star Brahmas, who have won six in a row, are trying to make a late push for the top spot and will host Topeka for two more games this weekend after they beat the RoadRunners, 3-2 on Thursday. Eight points back with eight games to play, it is the final stand this weekend for the Amarillo Bulls as they travel to Corpus Christi. The Bulls need regulation wins in order to have any hope of catching the IceRays. The IceRays can clinch a playoff spot with two regulation wins.
Friday, March 16
Northeast at Johnstown - 7:30 PM EDT
Philadelphia at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - 7:30 PM EDT
Aberdeen at Brookings - 7:05 PM CDT
Amarillo at Corpus Christi - 7:05 PM CDT
Odessa at Shreveport - 7:11 PM CDT
MN Wilderness at Bismarck - 7:15 PM CDT
Coulee Region at MN Magicians - 7:15 PM CDT
Topeka at Lone Star - 7:30 PM CDT
Austin at Minot - 7:35 PM CDT
Janesville at Fairbanks - 7:30 PM AKDT
Springfield at Kenai River - 7:30 PM AKDT
Saturday, March 17
Northeast at Johnstown - 7:00 PM EDT
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at New Jersey - 7:00 PM EDT
MN Magicians at Coulee Region - 7:00 PM CDT
Amarillo at Corpus Christi - 7:05 PM CDT
Odessa at Shreveport - 7:11 PM CDT
Brookings at Aberdeen - 7:15 PM CDT
MN Wilderness at Bismarck - 7:15 PM CDT
Topeka at Lone Star - 7:30 PM CDT
Austin at Minot - 7:35 PM CDT
Janesville at Fairbanks - 7:30 PM AKDT
Springfield at Kenai River - 7:30 PM AKDT
Sunday, March 18
Northeast at Johnstown - 3:00 PM EDT
New Jersey at Philadelphia - 3:05 PM EDT
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