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NAHL Weekend Preview

January 3, 2020
This weekend sees the NAHL begin a new decade as the 2019-20 regular season rolls along.
 
23 games are on the schedule from Friday through Sunday and this weekend not sees some key intra-divisional match-ups, but also some out of division games as well.
 
It was an incredible week for NAHL players and more NCAA Division 1 commitments as six more players announced their college plans to attend and play hockey at NCAA schools.
 
To date, a total of 160 NAHL players have made NCAA commitments, which continues to trend ahead of last year’s record-breaking total.
 
Just three weeks remain until the standings freeze to determine how many spots each team receives for the 2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, which will take place from February 17-18 in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
 
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In the Central Division this weekend, the 1st place Aberdeen Wings put their 12-0-1 streak on the line as they host the Minnesota Wilderness, who are three points out of the fourth and final playoff spot. There is a log-game in the middle of the standings, which includes the 2nd place Bismarck Bobcats, who will host the 4th place Austin Bruins this weekend. The Bruins are 3-0-2 in their last five games and are just six points back of the Bobcats. In between Bismarck and Austin in 3rd place are the Minot Minotauros, who will host the St. Cloud Blizzard for a pair of games with the Blizzard looking to snap a four-game losing skid.
 
In the East Division, it is catch up time with 1st place New Jersey and 2nd place Johnstown off for the weekend. The 6th place Northeast Generals have a key series against the 3rd place Maryland Black Bears with the Generals five points out of the final playoff spot. The Maine Nordiques are also on the outside looking in the playoff picture and will try and get back in the mix as they host the Fairbanks Ice Dogs from the Midwest Division. The final series has Jamestown on the road to face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, who are clinging to the 4th and final playoff spot.
 
In the Midwest Division, the two leaders are on the road outside of the division as Kenai River is in Amarillo for two games, while Fairbanks is in Maine. It is crunch time for the Minnesota Magicians as they look to snap a four-game losing skid with a home series against the Chippewa Steel. The Magicians, who have just eight wins, are still just four points out of the final playoff spot in the Midwest Division. The Springfield Jr. Blues are also on the outside looking in the playoff picture and will host the surging Topeka Pilots from the South Division. Janesville is idle.
 
In the South, the Amarillo Bulls are hosting the Kenai River Brown Bears and Topeka is in Springfield in out of division action. Meanwhile, inside the division, the 1st place Lone Star Brahmas look to maintain their division lead as they have three home games this weekend against the Odessa Jackalopes, who have lost 10 in a row. The other series is almost a must win for the Corpus Christi IceRays who are in 5th place and nine point back of the 4th place Shreveport Mudbugs who will host the two-game set. New Mexico is idle.
 
FRI, JANUARY 3
Fairbanks at Maine - 7:00 PM EST
Northeast at Maryland - 7:45 PM EST
Kenai River at Amarillo - 7:05 PM CST
Topeka at Springfield - 7:05 PM CST
Corpus Christi at Shreveport - 7:11 PM CST
MN Wilderness at Aberdeen - 7:15 PM CST
Austin at Bismarck - 7:15 PM CST
Chippewa at MN Magicians - 7:15 PM CST
Odessa at Lone Star - 7:30 PM CST
St. Cloud at Minot - 8:05 PM CST
 
SAT, JANUARY 4
Fairbanks at Maine - 7:00 PM EST
Jamestown at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - 7:00 PM EST
Topeka at Springfield - 6:05 PM CST
Northeast at Maryland - 7:45 PM EST
Kenai River at Amarillo - 7:05 PM CST
Chippewa at MN Magicians - 7:05 PM CST
Corpus Christi at Shreveport - 7:11 PM CST
MN Wilderness at Aberdeen - 7:15 PM CST
Austin at Bismarck - 7:15 PM CST
Odessa at Lone Star - 7:30 PM CST
St. Cloud at Minot - 7:35 PM CST
 
SUN, JANUARY 5
Jamestown at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - 1:30 PM EST
Odessa at Lone Star - 2:00 PM CST
 
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