The Bruins experienced another bi-polar weekend of sorts, splitting with the Minnesota Wilderness, as each game went in favor of the home team. Saturday’s loss made it 4 of 6, however and the Bruins saw their foothold on the last Central Division playoff spot slip to just one point over hard-charging Bismarck. This weekend brings perhaps their biggest test of the season to date, with the NAHL-leading Janesville Jets coming to Riverside, kicking off a five-game home stand in which the Bruins hope to find consistency.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR –
Soaring Jets: Of their 39 games played, Janesville has 30 wins and just 6 regulation losses. They lead the NAHL in goals for, with 162 (28 more than second place Lone Star), and they possess three of the top four scorers in the league. (Maloney, Bates, Munson) They’ve won 8 of 10 but had a six-game streak ended by the Minnesota Magicians last Saturday.
Re-fueling: The Bruins and Jets met at Janesville Ice Arena the days before and after Thanksgiving, and played two very close games. The Bruins prevailed in a shootout on November 23rd by a 3-2 final. Jason Koehn scored his first NAHL to tie the game in the third period before Liam Thrawl, Jon Richards, and Jan Stefka all scored in a five-round shootout. Two nights later, the Jets got the split with a 5-2 win. Janesville broke a 2-2 tie late in the 2nd period after Justin Misiak and Jan Stefka had dug the Bruins out of a 2-0 hole.
Sizzling Stefka: Jan Stefka will be sad to see the season series with the Wilderness end, as he racked up five goals (of his total 12) against the team from Cloquet. Dating back to December 14th (8 games), Stefka has 9 points (7 goals, 2 assists) and three multi-goal games.
Stay Out of the Box: The Jets have the third best power play in the NAHL, clipping at just under 25%, but they also boast the top three individual point-getters with the man advantage. Michael Maloney leads all players in PP points (22) and goals (12), while Adrian Holesinsky (19 points) and Chris Dodero (17) follow close behind.
THE MATCHUPS –
Central Division Standings:
Midwest Division Standings:
2016-17 Bruins vs. Jets Head to Head (Jets lead 1-0-1)
Click date for game story
HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAMES –
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Gates open at 6:00 on Friday and Saturday night at Riverside for a pair of 7:05 faceoffs. Friday night is Mayo Clinic night – a special ticket deal has been emailed to Mayo employees. Saturday night is Boy Scout night – all boy scouts and cub scouts in uniform or “Scoutreach T-Shirts” will receive free admission at the door with a paid adult. 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.
The annual “Paint the Rink Pink” Game is Friday, February 10th against Coulee Region Chill at 7:05 PM. Tickets are on sale at the above vendors or at the Bruins ticket office on game night and the business office during the week (between the hours of 9 AM – 4 PM). PTRP T-Shirts are available for $15 at all home games or in the Bruins business office.