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WEEKEND PREVIEW: Busy B’s play three around Thanksgiving

Photo courtesy: Don Boesen, Boesen Photography

Following back to back weekend splits with the Bismarck Bobcats, the hunt for consistency is on as the Bruins play their 2nd three game week of November around the Thanksgiving holiday. For the third time this month, they’ll take on the Coulee Region Chill, traveling to La Crosse, WI on Wednesday. After Turkey Day comes a big weekend battle for first place in the Central with the Minot Minotauros at Riverside Arena. To get you ready for another busy week, here is your long-weekend preview:

 

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR –

Injury Bug: The mid-season injury bug is in full force for the Bruins who were already without forwards Zach Kennedy and Travis Kothenbeutel entering last weekend’s series with the Bobcats. Veteran winger Luke Forfar went down with a lower-body ailment on Friday and defenseman Griff Slightam missed Saturday’s game. After a home series with Aberdeen in early December, the Bruins enjoy 2 of the follow 3 weekends off to heal up for the 2nd half.

Road Advantage: In every game the Bruins have played against both Coulee Region and Minot, the road team has come out on top. The ‘Tauros swept the weekend at Riverside in mid-October before Austin marched into Maysa Arena and returned the favor over Halloween. The B’s and Chill split their early November home-and-home, once again with the road time winning each game.

Gaining Ground: This weekend will be the last head-to-head for the Bruins and Minotauros until the first week of April when the two teams finish the season series at Maysa Arena. Trailing the ‘Tauros by just two points for first place in the Central entering Wednesday (Minot hosts Aberdeen), the Bruins are looking at their best chance to catch them without needed any external help. The ‘Tauros also have two games in hand (two fewer games played).

Chill heading up: Coulee Region went 3-1-0 in their excursion to Alaska after the Bruins saw them last on November 7th. After a sweep of the lowly Kenai River Brown Bears, the Chill played an impressive pair of games against the league’s best Fairbanks Ice Dogs, defeating them 5-4 in OT last Friday before suffering a tight 3-2 loss on Saturday, a game in which they held a 2-1 lead, and were 1:02 from yet another overtime before a late Ice Dogs goal sealed the deal.

 

THE MATCHUPS –

Central Division Standings:

TEAM

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

Minot

21

12

6

3

27

Austin

23

12

10

1

25

Brookings

20

10

8

2

22

MN Magicians

21

8

10

3

19

Bismarck

19

9

10

0

18

Aberdeen

18

6

8

4

16

 

Midwest Division Standings:

TEAM

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

Fairbanks

23

17

4

2

36

MN Wilderness

24

16

7

1

33

Springfield

21

13

6

2

28

Janesville

20

12

6

2

26

Coulee Region

19

8

11

0

16

Kenai River

23

1

22

0

2

 

2015-16 Austin vs. Coulee Region head to head (Tied 1-1)

11/06/15 Coulee 6 Region at Austin 2
11/07/15 Austin 3 at Coulee Region 1
11/25/15 @ Coulee Region – 7:00 PM
12/19/15 @ Coulee Region – 7:00 PM
12/31/15 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
01/22/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
02/06/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
02/13/16 @ Coulee Region – 7:00 PM

2015-16 Austin vs. Minot head to head (Tied 2-2)

10/16/15 Minot 3 at Austin 2 (OT)
10/17/15 Minot 4 at Austin 2
10/30/15 Austin 2 at Minot 1
10/31/15 Austin 5 at Minot 0
11/27/15 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
11/28/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
04/01/16 @ Minot – 7:35 PM
04/02/16 @ Minot – 7:35 PM

HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAMES –

The puck drops on Wednesday night from Green Island Ice Arena in La Crosse at 7:00 Central Time. Fans can listen for free on both Wednesday and Friday on AM 1480 KAUS and myaustinminnesota.com. The Bruins are celebrating Military Appreciation Weekend on Friday and Saturday  at Riverside Arena with the players wearing camouflage jerseys to be auctioned off after Saturday night’s game to benefit Defending the Blue Line. All active and former military will receive free admission to Saturday’s game with military I.D.. Gates open at 6:00 PM both nights. 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 also watch all three games on FASTHockey.com. Intermission updates will be posted via @theaustinbruins on Twitter.