The Bruins failed to win a season high three games in a row on Friday in Brookings, but bounced back against the other South Dakota team on Saturday night, winning in Aberdeen, 4-2, coming from behind as they’ve done so often this season. It was a key two points for the B’s, who were able to put five between themselves and the Wings for some cushion on the fourth and final Central Division playoff spot, heading into a weekend set with a pair of local Midwest Division foes, who seem to be trending in opposite directions.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR –
Rough Richfield: The Bruins haven’t been able to solve the mystery of Richfield Arena in the Kyle Grabowski era, with a record of 0-4-1 in the Magicians home rink since the start of 2015-16. The Bruins had a 2-1 lead going into the 3rd period in their only trip to Richfield this season on November 19th after Travis Kothenbeutel and Charlie Spetz scored late in the 2nd, but the Magicians tied the game with the goalie pulled and went on to win in a shootout.
Chilly Coulee: The Coulee Region Chill are on a slide right now, having lost 9 of their last 10 games – their only win coming in a shootout. It was actually the Bruins who set off their skid back on December 8th – a 5-3 Austin win in La Crosse. The Chill’s last four losses have come at the hands of NAHL leading Janesville, who scored 14 goals over the last three matchups. Coulee holds a five point edge over Fairbanks for a playoff spot.
Misiak Movin’ On Up: With goals in three straight games and an average of two points per game in his last four, Justin Misiak finds himself ranking sixth in the NAHL in scoring. Misiak leads the Bruins with 14 goals (tied with Travis Kothenbeutel) and 21 assists. He was named the NAHL’s Central Division 2nd star of the week for his 2 goal, 2 assist weekend in South Dakota.
Richards Return: The Bruins welcomed Jon Richards back after a four-game absence due to a broken finger, and he chipped in three points, including two goals in Saturday’s win at Aberdeen. Richards is an important cog to the Bruins’ offensive machine, ranking fourth on the squad in scoring (10 goals, 11 assists) and leading the team in shooting percentage.
Shining Schilling: Alex Schilling was less than impressive on Friday as the Bruins let multiple leads slip away in a 6-5 loss to Brookings, but showed a lot of character to bounce back the next night. Asked to start ten games in a row, he stepped up in a big way on Saturday night, making 41 saves on 43 Aberdeen shots to help the Bruins down the Wings. Schilling made several key stops in the 3rd as the Bruins came from behind and won their league leading 5th game when trailing after two periods.
THE MATCHUPS –
Central Division Standings:
Midwest Division Standings:
2016-17 Bruins vs. MN Magicians Head to Head (Bruins lead 2-0-1)
click date for game story
2016-17 Bruins vs. Chill Head to Head (Bruins lead 2-0-1)
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10/22/16 Austin 5 at Coulee Region 2
11/12/16 Coulee Region 6/OT at Austin 5
12/08/16 Austin 5 at Coulee Region 3
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
HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAMES –
|1/13/17||7:15||MN Magicians||Richfield Ice Arena||Hoot & Ole’s
(105 11th St SE)
|HockeyTV (AWAY)||AM 1480 KAUS|
|1/14/17||7:05||Coulee Region Chill||Riverside Arena||NONE||HockeyTV (HOME)||NONE|
Gates open at 6:00 on Saturday night at Riverside for a 7:05 faceoff. All players, coaches, and families of the Tyler Brady Memorial Tournament will receive $5 tickets at the door. A postgame skate with the Bruins will take place after the game and the Riverside Figure Skating Club will perform during the first intermission. General admission tickets can be purchased at Hy-Vee, Games People Play, Jim’s Marketplace, or the Holiday Inn Austin to save $4 off the door price.