WEEKEND PREVIEW: Bruins try to stay perfect vs. Wings

The Bruins and Minot Minotauros showed why they are the top two teams in the Central Division with a pair of highly entertaining affairs at Riverside Arena last weekend. When the dust settled, the teams came to a split and came out of the weekend the same way they came in – Minot up by two points. The last place Aberdeen Wings are in town this weekend – a team that the Bruins will see more than any other in ’15-16, playing them 12 times. The first two meetings at Odde Ice Center in Aberdeen went the Bruins way in late October and Austin hopes to keep the trend alive before their first off-week of the season. Here’s your Bruins/Wings weekend preview:

 

Photo courtesy: AberdeenNews.com

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR –

Sliding Wings: Since October 9th, the Wings have won only two games. (Nov. 13th vs. Minot and Nov. 27th vs. Brookings) You have to go all the way back to October 2nd to find their last road win, a 4-1 victory against the Magicians. Despite their struggles, they have managed to pick up points in 6 of their last 8 games – with four OT losses along the way.

Zajc Heads Home: The Bruins will be without forward Miha Zajc for the next four games as he has been invited to play for his native Slovenia the U20 IIHF junior tournament in France from December 12-18th. Already shorthanded up front due to injuries and suspensions, the Bruins will likely have at least one more new face in the lineup or be forced to play extra defensemen as they’ve done in the past.

No Comebacks Allowed: When comparing the Bruins and Wings, there is one stat that jumps off the page. When leading at the end of one period, the Bruins are 8-0-0. It goes to 12-0-0 when they hold a lead at the end of two. Conversely, when Aberdeen trail after the first period, they are 0-8-1, and they’re 0-9-1 trailing at the end of forty minutes. If the Bruins can take leads into intermissions, the numbers are heavily on their side.

Away Power Play: Despite their 6 game road losing streak, the Wings have the 2nd best road power play unit in the NAHL. Their 25% mark (7/28) mark is 2nd to only Janesville. Gavin Payne leads the way with four powerplay goals while Kevin Fitzgerald has netted three.

Captain Clutch: Jade Miller’s Friday goal turned out to be the game winner against Minot – his 6th game-winning goal of the season. That’s exactly half of his goals. Although Miller has only 5 goals since the NAHL showcase (in which he had 7), he’s made them count. No player in the league other than him has more 4 game winning goals this season.

 

THE MATCHUP –

Central Division Standings:

TEAM

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

Minot

24

14

7

3

31

Austin

26

14

11

1

29

Brookings

23

12

9

2

26

MN Magicians

25

10

12

3

23

Bismarck

21

10

11

0

20

Aberdeen

21

7

10

4

18

 

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

10/23/15 Austin 3 at Aberdeen 1
10/24/15 Austin 6 at Aberdeen 2
12/04/15 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
12/05/15 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
01/08/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
01/09/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
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 on Friday and Saturday night from Riverside Arena at 7:05 PM CT. There will be a special appearance and anthem performance by Ronald McDonald on Friday night. 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+). Fans can watch both games via streaming video on FASTHockey.com Friday’s game will also be available via radio on AM 1480 KAUS and streaming online for free at myaustinminnesota.com. Intermission updates will be posted via @theaustinbruins on Twitter.