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WEEKEND PREVIEW: Searching for a Streak

When the Bruins defeated Bismarck on Saturday to close out the weekend sweep of the Bobcats, it was their first series of back-to-back wins since September 22nd and 23rd at the NAHL Showcase when they beat Fairbanks and Johnstown on consecutive days. The win moved them back to the .500 mark again at an even 7-7-1 at the quarter mark of the season. Saturday begins the busiest stretch of the season for the B’s, as they’ll play 15 games in 36 days between now and December 17th.

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR –

Piehler’s Period: Michael Piehler had a second period to remember last Saturday, scoring a hat trick in short order as the Bruins got their second straight 5-2 win. Pieher turned the trick in under eight minutes of game times, scoring all three goals between the 6:53 and 14:44 marks of the frame. The accomplishment earned Piehler an honorable mention in the NAHL Central Division Stars of the Week.

The 5-Club: With Jon Richards netting his team-leading sixth goal on Saturday, he pulled just ahead of a pack of guys all with five goals on the season, a true testament to the scoring depth that the Bruins possess. Members of this exclusive club currently include Michael Piehler, Travis Kothenbeutel, Logan Haskins, Justin Misiak, and AJ Drobot. Jan Stefka and Dan Petrick are each one goal off the pace with four apiece.

Alaska Adversaries: Since losing at home to the Bruins on October 22nd, Coulee Region is 4-0-0 with all four wins coming at home against the Alaska teams. The Chill put together an impressive sweep of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on October 28th and 29th, winning 5-1 and 3-2 (OT) and followed it up by winning both games against Kenai, 6-3 and 2-1 on November 4th and 5th.

Sunday Hockey: The Bruins will play their only Sunday game of the season in a few days, traveling to Brookings for a 5:05 PM faceoff. In addition, they’ll play two Wednesday games (November 23rd and December 14th) and a Thursday game (December 8th), all before the New Year. The 2nd half is full of nothing but Friday and Saturday tilts.

Better Blizzard: Brookings is 5-3-0 since the Bruins saw them in early October (and picked up a 3-0 win). They’re 8-6-0 overall, and part of a three-way tie for 2nd place in the Central Division, which has just a two-point separation between 2nd and 6th. The Blizzard made the playoffs for the first time last season, sneaking into the 4 seed, and losing to Bismarck in round one.

 

THE MATCHUPS –

Central Division Standings:

TEAM GP W L OTL PTS
Minot 16 11 3 2 24
Brookings 15 8 6 0 17
Bismarck 16 8 7 1 17
MN Wilderness 18 8 9 1 17
Aberdeen 17 7 8 2 16
Austin 15 7 7 1 15

Midwest Division Standings:

TEAM GP W L OTL PTS
Janesville 17 12 4 1 25
MN Magicians 19 11 6 2 24
Coulee Region 15 10 4 1 21
Fairbanks 17 7 7 3 17
Springfield 18 6 11 1 13
Kenai River 15 1 12 2 4

 

2016-17 Bruins vs. Coulee Head to Head (Bruins lead 1-0-0)
click date for game story

10/22/16 Austin 5 at Coulee Region 2
11/12/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
12/8/16 @ Coulee Region – 7:00 PM

01/14/16 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
02/10/17 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
02/11/17 @ Coulee Region – 7:00 PM
03/24/17 @ Coulee Region – 7:00 PM
03/25/17 @ Austin – 7:05 PM

2016-17 Bruins vs. Brookings Head to Head (Bruins lead 1-0-0)
click date for game story

10/7/16 Austin 3 at Brookings 0
11/13/16 @ Brookings – 5:05 PM
12/09/16 vs. Brookings – 7:05 PM
12/10/16 @ Brookings – 7:05 PM
12/14/16 @ Austin – 10:00 AM
01/06/17 @ Brookings – 7:05 PM
02/17/17 @ Austin – 7:05 PM
02/18/17 @ Austin – 7:05 PM

 

HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAMES –

Saturday night’s home game against Coulee Region is a 7:05 puck drop from Riverside Arena. It’s military appreciation night sponsored by ABC6 News with FREE admission for all active and former military who bring I.D. Immediately following the game will be a live auction of camouflage jerseys that the Bruins will wear that night. All proceeds will benefit the Austin Bruins foundation.

Sunday afternoon’s affair in Brookings begins at 5:05 PM at Larson Ice Center. Fans are encouraged to watch the game at Hoot & Ole’s Tavern (formerly Smitty’s), the official home of Bruins away games.

Both games will be broadcast live on HockeyTV, with the HOME feed carrying the Bruins broadcast on Saturday and the AWAY feed on Sunday. Pregame coverage begins ten minutes prior to puck drop.