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NAHL Weekend Preview

April 5, 2019
As the old saying goes… this is it! We have come to the final weekend of the 2018-19 NAHL regular season as 21 games highlight the schedule on Friday through Sunday.
 
After seven months of grueling games and fierce competition, the 16 teams qualifying for the Robertson Cup Playoffs will begin their quest next week with the start of the Division Semi-Finals.
 
However, before that happens, there is still some unfinished business this weekend, which includes finalizing the last two spots in the East and South Divisions in addition to determining the overall NAHL regular season champion.
 
There is also positioning left to be done for movement in the standings in the battle for home ice advantage in the playoffs. The 2019 Robertson Cup Playoffs begin on April 11th.
 
NAHL Tie-breaking policy
At the conclusion of the NAHL regular season, Clubs that have an equal amount of points shall have their final position in the NAHL standings determined by applying the following tie-breaking procedures until the tie is broken:
A. Most wins during the regular season.
B. Results of head to head competition during the regular season.
C. Total goal differential in head to head competition during the regular season.
D. Total goal differential during the regular season.
E. Coin flip.
 
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The Central Division enters the weekend with the standings still in a constant state of movement. The Aberdeen Wings have locked up home ice throughout the playoffs and will face the Minnesota Wilderness in both team’s final game on Friday after the Wings won 5-0 on Thursday night. The battle for 2nd place and home ice in the first round of the playoffs is deadlocked between Minot and Bismarck, who each have 71 points. Minot, who has one more win than Bismarck, controls its own destiny as two wins this weekend at home against Brookings would guarantee the #2 seed. Meanwhile, the Bobcats are in Austin for a pair of games. The Bruins, who are in 4th place and three points back of both Minot and Bismarck, would have to come up with a pair of wins in order to move into 2nd or 3rd place.
 
In the East Division, there is still something to play for as division champion Johnstown is in Jamestown for a pair of games. The Tomahawks are still in the driver’s seat for the overall NAHL regular season title, with Aberdeen and Amarillo hot on their tail. The Rebels, who are locked into 2nd place, would like nothing more than to spoil that party. The big race however, is for the 4th and final playoff spot as the Northeast Generals need just one win to secure their spot in the post season. The Generals will host 3rd place New Jersey on Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights still have an outside shot of getting in, but need two wins over Maryland and a pair of Generals losses.
 
In the Midwest Division, the Minnesota Magicians need just one win to lock up the #2 seed and home ice in the first round of the playoffs as they will have a home-and-home series against the Chippewa Steel. The Springfield Jr. Blues would need a couple of wins and two Magicians losses in order to catch them and will try to do so this weekend at home against Janesville, who is locked into the 4th seed. The Fairbanks Ice Dogs, who won the division and will face the Jets in the opening round, are finished with the regular season as are the Kenai River Brown Bears.
 
The South Division has the most intrigue and storylines heading into the final weekend. The final spot will be a head-to-head battle this weekend in Corpus Christi as the IceRays need just one point to secure the 4th and final spot. However, two regulation wins by the Topeka Pilots in Corpus Christi would put them into the playoffs. The other series to keep a close eye on is the Shreveport Mudbugs at the Lone Star Brahmas. Not only will this be a first round playoff match-up beginning next week, but home ice will also be determined by the outcome of this weekend’s series. The Brahmas hold a slight edge heading into the weekend with one more point and one more win in the standings. Just one win of any kind would secure the #2 seed for Lone Star. Finally, the Amarillo Bulls make their push for the NAHL’s best record with a pair of road games in Odessa as the Jackalopes will complete their season.
 
FRI, APRIL 5
Maryland at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - 7:00 PM EDT
Johnstown at Jamestown - 7:05 PM EDT
Bismarck at Austin - 7:05 PM CDT
Topeka at Corpus Christi - 7:05 PM CDT
Aberdeen at MN Wilderness - 7:05 PM CDT
Janesville at Springfield - 7:05 PM CDT
Amarillo at Odessa - 7:11 PM CDT
Chippewa at MN Magicians - 7:15 PM CDT
Shreveport at Lone Star - 7:30 PM CDT
Brookings at Minot - 8:05 PM CDT
 
SAT, APRIL 6
Maryland at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - 3:30 PM EDT
Johnstown at Jamestown - 7:05 PM EDT
Janesville at Springfield - 6:05 PM CDT
New Jersey at Northeast - 7:30 PM EDT
Bismarck at Austin - 7:05 PM CDT
Topeka at Corpus Christi - 7:05 PM CDT
MN Magicians at Chippewa - 7:10 PM CDT
Amarillo at Odessa - 7:11 PM CDT
Shreveport at Lone Star - 7:30 PM CDT
Brookings at Minot - 7:35 PM CDT
 
SUN, APRIL 7
New Jersey at Northeast - 1:30 PM EDT
 
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