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WEEKEND PREVIEW: Magicians come to town, Bruins finish Coulee series

Photo courtesy of Don Boesen, Boesen Photography

A sellout crowd on Saturday’s Paint the Rink Pink night was treated to a highly entertaining game that saw the Bruins rally back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to tie the game in the third, but as they’ve done all year at Riverside, it was the Coulee Region Chill pulling out the victory. Scott Corbett’s goal with just under six minutes left completed Coulee’s 4-0-0 run in Austin this season. The Bruins will travel to La Crosse on Saturday to try and finish off the season series in the most bizarre of fashions – the road team winning all eight games. Before that, however, the Bruins have to try and solve the Minnesota Magicians, whom they are winless against in three tries this season. We break it all down in our weekend preview.

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR –

Gabor and Miller: Before and after the trade of Dawson DiPietro, Jade Miller and Gilbert Gabor have resided on the Bruins’ top line and consistently been the top two point producers on the roster. The two forwards both had huge weekends in a 6-1 win over Brookings and the 4-3 loss to Coulee. Miller put up two goals with three assists while Gabor registered a goal and six assists. Gabor is five points shy of 50 and Miller is 8 goals away from the Bruins single-season goal record of 30.

Magic Men: The Bruins are 0-3 against their I-35 rivals this year, after going 12-0 over the first two seasons of the head-to-head. After the Magicians claimed a 3-2 home win on November 5th, they swept a home-and-home weekend by 3-0 and 4-3 scores on the final two days of January. The Bruins had a 3-1 lead in the most recent affair but the Magicians scored three power play goals on the night to rally and hand the Bruins their first loss when leading after two periods.

Powerful Powerplay: The Bruins power play has hit its stride lately, scoring 10 extra-man goals in the last 9 games. Over that ten game stretch, the Bruins have only two games without a power play goal. Leading the way have been Austin Rueschhoff (9 PPG) and Gilbert Gabor (8). Jade Miller and Michael Piehler have each added in five a piece. Rueschhoff’s nine are tied for fourth in the NAHL. The Bruins’ PP unit ranks 6th overall in the league at just over 20%.

Loving La Crosse: We’ve already mentioned it, but it bears repeating: while the Chill went 4-0 at Riverside Arena, the Bruins have a chance to return the favor by going 4-0 at Green Island Ice Arena on Saturday night. Austin claimed a 3-1 win there on November 7th, before winning 4-1 on November 25th and 4-2 on December 19th. The full head-to-head results are listed below.

 

THE MATCHUPS –

Central Division Standings:

TEAM

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

Bismarck

40

25

14

1

51

Minot

43

23

16

4

50

Austin

42

22

19

1

45

Brookings

42

17

19

6

40

MN Magicians

41

16

20

5

37

Aberdeen

41

14

19

8

36

 

Midwest Division Standings:

TEAM

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

Fairbanks

43

33

7

3

69

MN Wilderness  

43

27

13

3

57

Springfield

42

23

15

4

50

Janesville

39

22

13

4

48

Coulee Region

39

20

19

0

40

Kenai River

43

3

39

1

7

 

2015-16 Austin vs. MN Magicians head to head (Magicians lead 3-0-0)
click date for game story

11/05/15 Austin 2 at MN Magicians 3 
01/29/16 MN Magicians 3 at Austin 0    
01/30/16 Austin 3 at MN Magicians 4 
02/12/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
02/26/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
03/02/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
02/27/16 @ MN Magicians – 7:00 PM
03/24/16 @ MN Magicians – 7:00 PM

 

2015-16 Austin vs. Coulee Region head to head (Coulee Region leads 4-3-0)
click date for game story

11/06/15 Coulee 6 at Austin 2
11/07/15 Austin 3 at Coulee Region 1
11/25/15 Austin 4 at Coulee Region 1
12/19/15 Austin 4 at Coulee Region 2
12/31/15 Coulee Region 5 at Austin 2
01/22/16 Coulee Region 4 at Austin 1
02/06/16 Coulee Region 4 at Austin 3
02/13/16 @ Coulee Region – 7:00 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+). Saturday night is a 7:00 PM CT faceoff from Green Island Ice Arena in La Crosse.

Both games will be broadcast with live streaming video and audio on FASTHockey.com and Saturday's game will also be available with audio only on AM 1480 KAUS and myaustinminnesota.com. Broadcasts begin ten minutes prior to each respective game time, with intermission updates on Facebook and Twitter (@theaustinbruins).