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WEEKEND PREVIEW: Bruins clash with Blizzard

Image courtesy of the Daily Herald

The NAHL Showcase has been a very friendly place for the Austin Bruins over the last three years, and the trend continued last week at the Schwan Super Rink. The Bruins won 3 of their 4 games and pulled their record back to .500 after losing the first two games of the season in Bismarck. As the Bruins enter the post-showcase portion of the schedule, their first test is a home-and-home with the Brookings Blizzard, one of the two teams tied atop the Central Division standings in the early going.

 

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR –

Miller Time: Veteran forward Jade Miller had an incredible week, registering seven goals and an assist at the Showcase. He notched the game winning goal in all three wins and had multiple goal efforts in all three, including a hat trick in an 8-0 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights on Sept. 23rd. Miller’s historic Showcase earned him Central Division First Star of the Week honors and put him in the top ten in NAHL scoring.

Return to Brookings: The Bruins’ visit to Brookings on Friday marks the first return for new head coach Kyle Grabowski to his old stomping grounds. Grabowski spent two seasons as Assistant Coach of the Blizzard before taking over the reins in Austin for 15-16.

Blizzard Home Cooking: The Blizzard are 4-0-0 at “home” on the early season, 2-0 at Larson Ice Center, and 2-0 in games at the Showcase in which they were the “home” team. They opened the season with a pair of extra-time wins over Mino: 5-4 in OT on September 18th and 3-2 in a shootout on the 19th. They defeated Aston and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the Showcase – two teams that the Bruins also beat in Blaine.

Numbers Game: Due to the annual post-showcase roster shuffling, a few Bruins will be sporting new numbers this weekend. Forward Jacob Paganelli goes from #2 to #12, forward Dawson DiPietro takes #9. Swedish defenseman Marcus Karlstrom, who was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 7th round of the 2013 NHL Entry draft, will sport #28.

 

THE MATCHUP –

 

Central Division Standings:

TEAM

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

Brookings

6

4

2

0

8

Minot

6

3

1

2

8

Austin

6

3

3

0

6

Aberdeen

4

3

1

0

6

Bismarck

6

2

4

0

4

MN Magicians

4

1

3

0

2

 

2014-15 HEAD TO HEAD (BRUINS WENT 9-3-0)                             

01/02/15    Austin 3 at Brookings 2 SO
01/03/15    Brookings 3 at Austin 1   
01/21/15    Brookings 0 at Austin 1 OT
01/23/15    Austin 6 at Brookings 3   
02/13/15    Austin 1 at Brookings 4   
02/14/15    Brookings 1 at Austin 7    
03/04/15    Brookings 1 at Austin 2   
03/07/15    Austin 2 at Brookings 3   
03/20/15    Austin 6 at Brookings 1   
03/21/15    Brookings 2 at Austin 6   
03/27/15    Brookings 1 at Austin 6   
03/28/15    Austin 7 at Brookings 0

 

2015-16 HEAD TO HEAD

10/02/15    @ Brookings – 7:30 PM
10/03/15    @ Austin – 7:05 PM   
01/15/16    @ Austin – 7:05 PM
01/16/16    @ Brookings – 7:30 PM   
01/23/16    @ Brookings – 7:30 PM   
02/05/16    @ Austin – 7:05 PM
03/04/16    @ Brookings – 7:30 PM     
03/18/16    @ Austin – 7:05 PM      

 

HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAMES –

The puck drops on Friday night from Larson Ice Center at 7:30 PM Central Time. Saturday’s home opener is a 7:05 PM faceoff. Gates open at Riverside Arena at 6:00. Tickets can be purchased at HyVee, Jim’s Marketplace, Games People Play, and the Holiday Inn at rates of $11 for adults and $8 for students and seniors (65+). Prices at the door are $15 and $12.

Fans can watch both games on FASTHockey.com, with the “AWAY” feed carrying the Bruins broadcast network on Friday, and the “HOME” feed on Saturday. Broadcast coverage begins 10 minutes prior to puck drop. Intermission updates for both games will be posted via @theaustinbruins on Twitter.