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WEEKEND PREVIEW: Bruins and 'Tauros meet in Potential Playoff Preview

Down 4-0 late into the first period in Aberdeen on Saturday night, things were looking bleak for the Bruins. They were in danger of leaving South Dakota just a single point up on a playoff spot with a trip to red-hot Minot looming. Digging deep, the Bruins stormed back to win a wild one 7-5 and gain themselves some valuable breathing room heading into the last four games of the regular season. This weekend brings with it a potential playoff preview as the Bruins see the Minotauros for the first time since November. If the season ended today, the Bruins would be traveling to Minot for games 1 and 2 of the Central Division Semis.

Photo courtesy of Don Boesen, Boesen Photography

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR –

Magic Number 4: The Bruins can lock up a playoff spot with two wins or one win plus one loss by Aberdeen OR the Magicians. If they both lose and the Bruins win, Austin clinches the #3 seed.

Miller’s Record Race: After going through a dry spell (by his standards) of just one goal in eight games, Jade Miller got two on the Aberdeen trip, bringing his season total to 27. He has four games to get three goals and tie C.J.’s Smith single-season Bruins record of 30 set in 2012-13. It should be noted that Jade has two hat tricks and five multi-goal games. (including a four goal game)

Walking without Johnny: Minot shocked the NAHL by trading leading scorer and agitator Johnny Walker to Topeka on January 25th. Coming the other way in the deal was forward Matt Jennings who has 8 goals and 17 assists in 30 games with Minot. Things have worked out well for the ‘Tauros, who are 13-2-2 since the trade.

Two Way LaDouce: Minot D-man James LaDouce, who Bruins fans will remember from his OT goal at Riverside on October 16th, is 2nd among all NAHL blue liners in goals, with 10 – six of them going as game winners. Less than two weeks ago, LaDouce announced his commitment to DI Alaska-Fairbanks for 2016-17.

Rueschhoff’s Re-Energized Powerplay: After starting last week with a powerplay goal ten seconds into their first attempt, the Bruins went 0 for their next 8. An illness to Luke Notermann put Austin Rueschhoff back on the top powerplay unit and it led to two powerplay goals on Saturday. The 6’6 forward got the B’s 7th goal, his 10th power play tally out of 15 overall.

 

THE MATCHUP –

Central Division Standings:

TEAM

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

Bismarck

56

34

18

4

72

Minot

56

33

18

5

71

Austin

56

27

25

4

58

MN Magicians

56

23

26

17

53

Aberdeen

56

21

24

11

53

Brookings

56

22

28

6

50

 

2015-16 Austin vs. Minot head to head (Bruins lead 3-2-1)
click date for game story

10/16/15 Minot 3/OT at Austin 2
10/17/15 Minot 4 at Austin 2
10/30/15 Austin 2 at Minot 1
10/31/15 Austin 5 at Minot 0
11/27/15 Minot 1 at Austin 3
11/28/16 Minot 3 at Austin 2
04/01/16 @ Minot – 7:35 PM
04/02/16 @ Minot – 7:35 PM

 

HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAMES –

The puck drops from Maysa Arena on Friday and Saturday night at 7:35 PM CT. Both games will be broadcast with live streaming video and audio on FASTHockey.com, and audio only (Saturday only) on AM 1480 KAUS in Austin as well as streaming online at myaustinminnesota.com. The broadcasts begin at 7:25.

Fans are encouraged to catch all three games at B&J Bar and Grill, located at 114 4th Ave NE in Austin – the official home of Bruins away games. Intermission updates for all games can be found on Facebook and Twitter (@theaustinbruins).