Yea, I know we are a day early with this, but somebody at the
North American Hockey League office decided to move the weekend up a day and
schedule four games tonight.
With that in mind, and so many great match-ups, let's get to it.
#17 Port Huron Fighting Falcons at #8 Jamestown Ironmen (Sat) - Both teams go into
Saturday's match-up after facing a tough division rival on Thursday and Friday.
The advantage of not having to travel gives Jamestown the edge. Ironmen win.
#6 Soo Eagles at #11 Johnstown Tomahawks (Sat) - In the season series
finale, both teams come in hungry and in need of a win. Tomahawks even the series with the home victory.
#22 Coulee Region Chill at #23 Aberdeen Wings (Fri-Sat) - Aberdeen will be
throwing everything at Coulee Region to try and put an end to their 18-game
losing streak. The Chill are just trying to get past the DUI checkpoint. Split.
#20 Wichita Falls Wildcats at #24 Odessa Jackalopes (Thr-Fri-Sat) - Wichita Falls can't afford to make the same mistake that Corpus
Christi made last week and lose in Odessa. If Paul Baxter wants to make the
play-offs, the Wildcats are going to have to take advantage of the Jackalopes. Wichita Falls gets the sweep.
#14 Kenai River Brown Bears at #21 Fresno Monsters (Fri-Sat-Sun) - All four west
division teams are a lock for the play-offs but the Monsters would rather not
open that dance against the division leader. In order to accomplish that,
Fresno is going to have to catch Kenai River. The Brown Bears have played two
more games than the Monsters and have an 8-point lead. Monsters sweep and close the gap.
#19 Michigan Warriors at #15 Springfield Blues (Fri-Sat) - Speaking of the
play-offs, Moe Mantha's Warriors are trying to make the dance card and need a
big weekend at Springfield. The Blues are also in the thick of the hunt. This
is going to be a good series and another split.
#17 Port Huron Fighting Falcons at #11 Johnstown Tomahawks
(Thr-Fri) - Port
Huron is on the ropes and Johnstown is in the perfect position to knock them
out. Revenge is sweet and the Tomahawks
are going to sweep.
#16 Corpus Christi IceRays at #7 Topeka RoadRunners (Fri-Sat) - The IceRays are in a
battle to hold onto the division's 4th play-off spot and can't
afford to come out of Topeka without a point. The RoadRunners are likely
anchored into the third-place and are not as concerned as Corpus Christi. I think
it is time for Hayden Stewart (7-9-3, 3.26 GAA, .908 SV%) to have a really big
#10 Bismarck Bobcats and #13 Minot Minotauros (Fri-Sat) - Minot would like
nothing better than to be in a position to face Bismarck in the first round of
the play-offs to avoid another run-in with Austin. To do that, Minot needs to
move ahead of Brookings. A sweep of Bismarck would be a good start, but I see a
#3 Austin Bruins and #12 Brookings Blizzard (Fri-Sat) - The Bruins have a
nice toy in the garage in 17 year-old goalie Jason Pawloski (12-0-3, 2.38 GAA,
.919 SV%). The Omaha native has stopped 80 of the last 81 shots and has not
allowed a goal in his last 130-minutes of play. Brookings might get one or two
past the kid, but they won't get a win as the Bruins sweep.
#6 Soo Eagles at #8 Jamestown Ironmen (Thr-Fri) - The Ironmen are
starting to rust and the blame can be easily placed on Kenji Yamada. In short,
the Jamestown owner has not lived up to his end of the bargain. Players play
and owners take care of the expenses, well, that's the way it is supposed to be
anyway. It's over for Jamestown if Yamada is unable to quickly secure a local
owner and that has to be a major distraction for the team. The Eagles get the road sweep.
#5 Fairbanks Ice Dogs at #4 Wenatchee Wild (Thr-Fri-Sat) - This is likely to be
the last-time that Wenatchee fans get to see the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in regular
season play. The rivalry between these two clubs has been intense and when
Wenatchee president Bill Stewart secured the services of head coach Bliss
Littler, everybody in Fairbanks had to wince. Meanwhile it appears that the
Wild are also up against the on-ice officials and that does not make any sense.
If that baloney continues, Fairbanks will win this series and maybe even sweep.
I'm hoping the whistle blowers stay out of the way and we witness a fantastic
weekend of hockey. Wild take series 2-1.
SERIES OF THE WEEK
#2 Texas Tornado at #1 Amarillo Bulls (Fri-Sat) - Tony Curtale is
riding a ten-game winning streak into Amarillo with bad intentions. Will the
Tornado continue the streak and embarrass Rocky and Bullwinkle? I think so. Fire up the BBQ and break out the
buns, Tony is making burgers out of the
Bulls with the sweep.
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Stephen Heisler resides in Puerto Penasco, Mexico with
his wife, Maria, and their two children, Sonia and Tomas. Tune in to his Mexico
based Classic Rock Station, GoPenasco Radio.