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NAHL Weekend Preview

January 11, 2019
All 24 teams are in action this weekend in the NAHL as the schedule is highlighted with 24 games. All 12 series feature divisional rivalries as the jockeying in the standings continues.
 
While some teams have opened wide divisional leads, the race for the final playoff spots in all four divisions is drawing plenty of interest and excitement.
 
Also looming is the cut off for the 2019 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, which is just over a month away in Attleboro, MA, on February 18-19. The NAHL standings will be frozen on Tuesday, January 22nd and the number of players that will represent each team will be based on winning percentage at that time.
 
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In the Central Division, no one has been able to slow down the Aberdeen Wings, who enter the weekend riding a franchise record 12-game winning streak, as they have opened up a seven point lead atop the division. The Wings have a chance to put a stranglehold on the rest of the division this weekend as they travel to Austin to take on the 2nd place Bruins. 3rd place will be up for grabs this weekend as well as the Minnesota Wilderness travel to Minot to take on the Minotauros. The Wilderness, who sit in 3rd place, are just two points ahead of both Minot and the Bismarck Bobcats. Meanwhile, the Bobcats will host the Brookings Blizzard, with the Blizzard coming into the weekend having snapped their losing skid last weekend and riding a two-game point streak.
 
In the East Division, the 1st place Johnstown Tomahawks own the best record in the NAHL at 29-5-0 and have won five straight and 9 of their last 10 games. They will take to the road to face the Maryland Black Bears, who are just one point ahead of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the 4th and final playoff spot in the East. Comfortably in 2nd place are the Jamestown Rebels who will host the Knights for a pair of games. The New Jersey Titans conclude their 20-day holiday layoff as they get back on the ice this weekend with two road games in Northeast against the Generals.
 
In the Midwest Division, things are all of a sudden much tighter at the top as the 1st place Minnesota Magicians have won four of their last 10 games and have seen their division lead shrink down to just four points. They will host the Janesville Jets this weekend, who are tied for 2nd place with Fairbanks. Meanwhile, the Ice Dogs return to the friendly confines of the Big Dipper Ice Arena in Fairbanks to host the Springfield Jr. Blues. The Jr. Blues moved into the 4th and final playoff spot with a sweep last weekend and now sit three points ahead of Kenai River for the final spot. The Brown Bears are also back home and look to pick-up ground in the standings with two games against the Chippewa Steel.
 
Like Aberdeen in the Central, there appears to be no slowing down the Amarillo Bulls in South Division. The Bulls have the largest division lead (17 points) of anyone in the league and the 2nd best record in the NAHL at 25-3-4. The Bulls 20-game point streak, which extends back to late October, and their 12-game winning streak will be on the line this weekend as the host the Odessa Jackalopes, who have lost three straight and eight of their last 10. 2nd place in the South will be on the line this weekend as Corpus Christi will host Shreveport for two key games. Playoff spots and points are also on the line in North Richland Hills, Texas, this weekend as the Lone Star Brahmas host the Topeka Pilots with both teams tied at 34 points for the 4th and final playoff spot.
 
FRI, JANUARY 11
MN Wilderness at Minot - 5:00 PM CST
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Jamestown - 7:05 PM EST
Johnstown at Maryland - 7:45 PM EST
Odessa at Amarillo - 7:05 PM CST
Aberdeen at Austin - 7:05 PM CST
Shreveport at Corpus Christi - 7:05 PM CST
Brookings at Bismarck - 7:15 PM CST
Topeka at Lone Star - 7:30 PM CST
Springfield at Fairbanks - 7:30 PM AKST
Chippewa at Kenai River - 7:30 PM AKST
 
SAT, JANUARY 12
New Jersey at Northeast - 7:00 PM EST
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Jamestown - 7:05 PM EST
Johnstown at Maryland - 7:45 PM EST
Janesville at MN Magicians - 7:00 PM CST
Odessa at Amarillo - 7:05 PM CST
Aberdeen at Austin - 7:05 PM CST
Shreveport at Corpus Christi - 7:05 PM CST
Brookings at Bismarck - 7:15 PM CST
Topeka at Lone Star - 7:30 PM CST
MN Wilderness at Minot - 7:35 PM CST
Springfield at Fairbanks - 7:30 PM AKST
Chippewa at Kenai River - 7:30 PM AKST
 
SUN, JANUARY 13
New Jersey at Northeast - 4:30 PM EST
Janesville at MN Magicians - 6:00 PM CST
 
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