Loading Scoreboard...

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Bruins Look to Change Fortunes With Road Trip

Although the Bruins lost twice last weekend, they gained ground on their playoff positioning with a pair of points gained by going to overtime. Nevertheless, the Bruins dropped games to the Magicians and Chill, extending their slide to 7 losses in 8 games. A couple of games against the Aberdeen Wings could be just what the doctor ordered for the B’s, who are a perfect 6-0-0 against their divisional rivals from South Dakota. It will be the first weekend in seven without a home game, and the Bruins’ first trip to Aberdeen since late October. Here is your weekend preview.

Photo courtesy of Don Boesen, Boesen Photography

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR –

Miller’s goal streak: Not even a trip to Top Prospects could cool Jade Miller’s stick down. Having scored a goal in five consecutive games, Miller got one in each of the Central Division affairs, making it seven in a row. Miller scored the game winning goal in a 3-2 win over the USNDTP Under-17 squad on Monday before netting the 2nd of a 7 goal outburst by the Central over the East Division on Tuesday. Of course, the all-star stats don’t count toward the regular season numbers, so Jade is still six goals shy of C.J. Smith’s Bruins single season record of 30.

Top Prospects: Miller wasn’t the only Bruin with a solid showing at the Tournament in Plymouth, MI this week. Kris Carlson got credit for both Central Division wins, stopped a total of 28 out of 30 shots. Carlson played the 2nd half of Monday’s game, entering with the score tied at one, and then started Tuesday, leaving with the lead. Justin Misiak assisted on a goal by Brookings’ Nick Ford in Tuesday’s game, and Paul O’Connor was a +2 for the tournament.

Close Contests: The Bruins played two overtime games last weekend and have participated in four since January 8th. Against the Aberdeen Wings, there may be more to come. The Wings have played a league high 15 overtime games this season, including six in their last ten. In general, Aberdeen plays an immense amount of tight games, with over half of them (22 of 43) decided by one goal. However, only one of the first 6 between the Bruins and Wings has been decided by one goal – a 3-2 Bruins OT win on January 8th at Riverside.

3rd Period Scoring: As a team, the Wings have scored the 2nd fewest goals in the league (87), but they struggle most in the third periods of the games. Aberdeen has put only 23 pucks in the net in third periods, the NAHL’s lowest mark. On the other side of the coin, only six teams have allowed more than their 41 goals against in final stanzas. By comparison, the Bruins have a +6 third period goal differential, with 45 goals for and 39 goals against.

Fourth quarter: No, we didn’t get our sports mixed up. Friday’s game represents the start of the last quarter of the 60 game regular season schedule. The Bruins find themselves 6 points behind both Bismarck and Minot, whom they each play two more games against. Austin holds a five point edge on Brookings for third place, while the Magicians and Wings are eight points back of the Bruins and three out of a playoff spot. A complete standings recap can be found below.

 

THE MATCHUP –

Central Division Standings:

TEAM

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

Bismarck

42

26

15

1

53

Minot

45

24

16

5

53

Austin

44

22

19

3

47

Brookings

44

18

20

6

42

MN Magicians

43

17

21

5

39

Aberdeen

43

15

19

9

39

 

2015-16 Austin vs. Aberdeen head to head (Bruins lead 6-0-0)
click date for game story

10/23/15 Austin 3 at Aberdeen 1
10/24/15 Austin 6 at Aberdeen 2
12/04/15 Aberdeen 0 at Austin 3
12/05/15 Aberdeen 1 at Austin 5
01/08/16 Aberdeen 2 at Austin 3/OT
01/09/16 Aberdeen 1 at Austin 4
02/19/16 @ Aberdeen – 7:15 PM
02/20/16 @ Aberdeen – 7:15 PM
03/25/16 @ Aberdeen – 7:15 PM
03/26/16 @ Aberdeen – 7:15 PM
04/08/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
04/09/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM

 

HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAMES –

The puck drops from Odde Ice Center in Aberdeen at 7:15 PM CT Friday and Saturday Night. Both games will be broadcast with live streaming video and audio on FASTHockey.com. Saturday’s game will be available (audio only) on AM 1480 KAUS and myaustinminnesota.com. Broadcast time is 7:05. Intermission updates will be posted on Facebook and Twitter (@theaustinbruins), and fans are encouraged to watch the games at B&J Bar and Grill, located at 114 4th Ave NE in downtown Austin.