WEEKEND PREVIEW: Bruins see Brookings for first time since Opening Weekend

Photo credit: Boesen Photography

Since the beginning of December, the Bruins have played only three teams over an eight game span – the Aberdeen Wings, the Minnesota Wilderness, and the Coulee Region Chill. Starting this Friday, the Brookings Blizzard will become the new familiar opponent to the Bruins and their fans as Austin and Brookings will play four times over the next four weekends. It’s been awhile since the Bruins saw Kyle Grabowski’s former squad – since October 3rd, in fact. Each team has a much different look from three months ago, and they’ll play a home and home to get reacquainted. Here is your preview.

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR –

Captain Clutch: Bruins leading goal scorer and captain, Jade Miller has come up with an abundance of important goals this season. Along with his seven game winners – tying him for the league lead – Miller has scored two game tying goals (in eventual wins) and two more goals that gave the Bruins the lead, in games they eventually lost. Quick math would tell you that an astounding 11 of his 15 goals have either tied a game or given the Bruins a lead.

Overtime Overload: The Brookings started off their season with a shootout win followed by an OT victory in a sweep of Minot and that was evidently a sign of things to come. The Blizzard have played nine more overtime sessions since, posting an overall record of 6-5 in games going past regulation, most recently a 3-2 home loss to Aberdeen on Wednesday night. Four of the eleven OT games have required the shootout, with Brookings winning twice and losing twice. The Bruins have not seen a shootout yet this season and have an overall OT record of 1-1.

Piehler percentage: Another fun fact for the stat-geeks of the world: Michael Piehler leads all NAHL players in shooting percentage. Although it’s not an overly important stat, Piehler has made his shots count, scoring 5 goals on just 16 attempts at the net. Piehler has become a mainstay in the Bruins lineup, registering points in 7 of his last 9 games. Overall, he has 5 goals and 3 assists in 11 appearances.

O from the D: Brookings defenseman T.J. Samec has been a major part of the Blizzard offense this season, ranking fifth on the team in scoring (18 points). His 7 goals have him tied for the most among all NAHL blue-liners (with Lone Star’s Bud Madej). Samec’s been clutch too – with three game winning goals on the season.

 

THE MATCHUP –

Central Division Standings:

TEAM

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

Austin

34

19

14

1

39

Bismarck

32

18

13

1

37

Minot

35

17

15

3

37

Brookings

34

15

14

5

35

MN Magicians

33

13

16

4

30

Aberdeen

32

12

15

5

29

 

2015-16 Austin vs. Brookings head to head (Bruins lead 2-0-0)
click date for game story

10/02/15 Austin 4 at Brookings 1
10/03/15 Brookings 3 at Austin 6
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 from Riverside Arena on Friday night at 7:05 PM CT. Tickets can be pre-purchased at HyVee, Jim’s Marketplace, Games People Play, and the Holiday Inn for $4 off the door price – $11 for adults and $8 for students and seniors (65+). The game will be broadcast with live streaming video and audio on FASTHockey.com beginning at 6:55, with intermission updates on Facebook and Twitter (@theaustinbruins).

Saturday’s game is a 7:30 start time from Larson Ice Center in Brookings and along with FASTHockey, will also be available via radio on AM 1480 KAUS and streaming online at myaustinminnesota.com. Broadcast time is 7:20. Fans are encouraged to watch the game at the official home of Bruins away games: B&J Bar and Grill – located at 114 4th Ave NE in downtown Austin.