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WEEKEND PREVIEW: Bruins look to roll in to playoffs on winning note

With two games left in the NAHL’s regular season, the Bruins are the only team in the Central Division without anything to play for this weekend. Win or lose, the B’s are locked into the #3 seed for the divisional playoffs, set to travel to either Minot or Bismarck on April 15th and 16th. The ‘Tauros and Bobcats will decide who wins the regular season title while Brookings, Aberdeen, and the Magicians all fight for the four and final spot. Although the games have no meaning for the Bruins, they’d like to go into the postseason on a winning note. Here is your final regular season weekend preview.

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR –

3 teams, 1 spot: Just a single point separates the Blizzard, Magicians, and Wings heading into game #58 and only one will be North Dakota bound for next week’s playoffs. The Blizzard have the edge on the first tiebreaker – wins, with one more than the Magicians and three more than Aberdeen. The second tiebreaker is head-to-head points, which Brookings holds over both teams as well. Brookings hosts Minot, the Magicians host Bismarck, and Aberdeen is at Riverside.

Last Shot at History: Jade Miller has two games to score three goals and tie the Bruins single season goal mark, held by C.J. Smith. Smith notched 30 in the 2012-13 season, going on to lead the UMass-Lowell River Hawks in scoring each of his first two collegiate seasons. Goals have come in bunches for Miller this season, with two hat tricks and five multi-goal games.

Rueschhoff Streak: Austin Rueschhoff paced the Bruins’ offense last weekend in Minot, scoring three of their five goals in the split with the ‘Tauros. He’s got goals in three consecutive games now and four over his last three. Eleven of his 18 goals have come on the powerplay.

OT Regret: Bruins fans know the art of the overtime loss all too well after the Bruins dropped 11 OT games last season and then lost game one of the Robertson Cup Finals in 4 extra periods. Of Aberdeen’s 19 overtime games, their 11 losses could very well keep them out of the postseason due to the valuable “wins” tiebreaker. The Bruins and Wings have played two OT games this season, each winning one.

Comeback Kids: The Bruins have rallied from deficits of 2 or greater in three of the last four meetings with the Wings – all at Odde Ice Center. On February 19th, they erased a 3-0 lead before losing 4-3 in OT. On March 25th, they came back from down 2-0, only to lose 4-2. Most recently and memorably on March 26th, they turned a 4-0 deficit into a 7-5 win. The Bruins haven’t had as much trouble with the Wings at Riverside this season, winning all four so far.

 

THE MATCHUP –

Central Division Standings:

TEAM

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

Bismarck*

58

36

18

4

76

Minot*

58

34

18

6

74

Austin*

58

28

26

4

60

Brookings

58

24

28

6

54

MN Magicians

58

23

27

8

54

Aberdeen

58

21

26

11

53

*clinched playoff spot

 

2015-16 Austin vs. Aberdeen head to head (Bruins lead 7-2-1)
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 Austin 3 at Aberdeen 4/OT
02/20/16 Austin 1 at Aberdeen 4
03/25/16 Austin 2 at Aberdeen 4
03/26/16 Austin 7 at Aberdeen 5
04/08/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
04/09/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM

 

HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAMES –

The puck drops from Riverside Arena on Friday and Saturday night at 7:05 PM CT, with gates opening at 6. Fans can purchase tickets for $4 off the door price at Austin locations: Hy Vee, Jim's Marketplace, Games People Play, or the Holiday Inn. There will be a postgame skate with the players after Friday night's game. On Saturday night, the Bruins will hold a billet appreciation ceremony during the first intermission and a live jersey auction of the home and away jerseys immediately following the game. 

The games will be broadcast with live streaming video and audio on FASTHockey.com, beginning at 6:55. Stay connected with the Bruins on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and AustinBruins.com for playoff dates, times, and ticket information.