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Daily Dish: NAHL Weekend Preview - Junior Hockey News

Published: Thursday, 31 Jan 2013
By: Stephen Heisler  |  Web site: JuniorHockey.com

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 game. Split.

#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 split.

#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.


#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.

JuniorHockey.com is the premier website dedicated to delivering the latest news and developing stories from junior hockey across North America, as well as providing online tools for junior hockey players and prospects. With over 300,000 views this month, Juniorhockey.com is the internet's leading source of junior hockey news and information. 

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.


posted Jan. 31st, 2013 - 1:25am
Fred Meiner says:
I am a season ticket holder for the Wild and have been sinces their inception. Although Assistant Coach Clark's display Saturday night was over the top it was provoked by the referee in the game Mr.Desenes. Desenes was the referee in Thursday's game and there didn't appear to be any gross bias as he called the game. This referee started his devious work on Friday night was a lineman when he made a "too many men on the ice" call near the end of the game. The wild were in the Kehai River zone and were putting alot of preasure on their goal. the puck was nowhere near the Wild bence when this guy blew the whistle.

Then along came Saturday night. This same guy was the referee again and from the drop of the puck it was easy to see where he was going. I've been watching live hockey since 1968 as a LA Kings fan in L.A. and have never witnessed a "boarding call" when the attacker never left his feet and the attackee never hit te boards. Pathetic. Then ther was the unsportsmanlike when our captain who was the trailer on an breakaway was calle when he was unable to stop immediately and bumped, but did not knock anyone down when the opposing goalie froze the puck. Then there was the seven minute penalty with 6:52 left that put everyone over the edge. Perhaps the NAHL has put the word out that the Wild want move to the BCHL and they want to make sure the Wild are disadvantaged in the plays? What a horror it would be to have the Wild win the Robertson Cup right before they leave the NAHL.

posted Jan. 31st, 2013 - 1:31am
Fred Meiner says:
Please accept the correction to the name of the referee refered to in my comment, above. The name is Espenes not Desenes. I apologise for my error. And please forgive my typing errors as well.

posted Jan. 31st, 2013 - 8:14am
Andrew Hochstein says:
I feel extremely fortunate to be able to witness one of the best match-ups this weekend in the nation. I really hope your "crystal ball" is fogged up tho. The Bulls have the best home record in the league at 16-1-3..hopefully they can use that to their advantage.


posted Jan. 31st, 2013 - 9:37am
Christian Poulsen says:
Quick pick before the puck drops...
Jamestown over Soo...split series

Port Huron over Johnstown...split series
Wichita Falls over Odessa...but Jacks win 1 of 3
Wenatchee over Fairbanks...Fairbanks wins 1 of 3

posted Jan. 31st, 2013 - 10:04am
robert hutch says:
Corpus has never beaten Topeka and I don't see it happening now. Texas may split but won't sweep although I would love to see the sweep.After spending so many years in the CHL in Corpus I can relate how an official (and the CHL had many special ones) can set off a coaching staff.Funny thing is one of the worst is now a NHL ref. Go figure.

posted Jan. 31st, 2013 - 10:39am
Christian Poulsen says:
"Master of Puppets"...Metallica
"Marionette"...Mott the Hoople

I think on the shelfs this weekend

posted Jan. 31st, 2013 - 12:43pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Well, James still can split...so I'm not -1 yet

posted Jan. 31st, 2013 - 1:41pm
Mike Johnson says:
Stephen and Randy,

Have you heard any news from the NAHL Meetings in Frisco???
Which franchises are going dormant???
Also, what is going on with the East Coast franchises they were trying to pick up from the EJ...
Any other surprises?

posted Feb. 1st, 2013 - 8:29am
Andrew Hochstein says:
Very nice Stephen..you seem to be 4-0 with your predictions....so far..

posted Feb. 1st, 2013 - 10:24am
Christian Poulsen says:
Yikes... I have some slight brain damage...James, no Janes, "Here's Johnny"...The Shining...
...2-2 so far...I think?

Jamestown over Soo
Johnstown over P.H.
Texas and Amarillo split
Brookings and Austin H & H split
Michigan and Springfield split
Topeka and Corpus Christi...a little adrenaline
"I Don't Wanna Stop"...Ozzy (Zakk on lead, Ozzy propped up?)...GO RUNNERS!
Aberdeen wins 2 over Coulee Region
Bismarck sweeps Minot

Jamestown over PH
Soo over (Johnstown at home) (flipped a coin)

posted Feb. 1st, 2013 - 8:52pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Geez...the Wiz (with an "h" this week) better keep up with the North more...

posted Feb. 1st, 2013 - 10:34pm
Andrew Hochstein says:
I could be "cocky" right now but the battles only halfway over right now. Hope we spank them twice as bad tomorrow night.

posted Feb. 1st, 2013 - 11:56pm
David Saloka says:
The Johnstown Tomahawks showed up for only about half of their game tonight. Their sloppy, lazy effort resulted in yet another home loss to a team below them in the standings. Does anyone know when the trade deadline is?

posted Feb. 2nd, 2013 - 12:39am
Andrew Hochstein says:
I believe it's February 7th? Maybe 8th?

posted Feb. 2nd, 2013 - 1:01am
Stephen Heisler says:
So much for the BBQ bull burgers... It must be the players fault if the Tornado lose.

posted Feb. 2nd, 2013 - 8:26am
Mike Johnson says:
Trades must be submitted to the League Office for approval by Feb 6th. Final Rosters must be sent to USA hockey by Feb 10th....

posted Feb. 2nd, 2013 - 9:45pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Geez, 2 more losses (forgot the Kenai-Fresno series)...pick
Fresno wins one on Sunday....Jamestown 0-2-1?

Why Bismarck-Minot postponed?

posted Feb. 2nd, 2013 - 10:10pm
Andrew Hochstein says:

I guess Curtale forgot the cooker to make Bull burgers?


posted Feb. 3rd, 2013 - 12:38pm
Stephen Heisler says:
Curtale deserves all the credit for his team's success but I have to say that the players let the legendary coach down this weekend.

The players failed to execute Tony's directive and are solely to blame for being swept.

posted Feb. 3rd, 2013 - 3:49pm
Andrew Hochstein says:
So Curtale brought the cooker but the players forgot the coals?

posted Feb. 3rd, 2013 - 4:04pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Half my pig fell into the pit this week....13-10-3

I see these 2 brothers (Harbaugh) played Squirt Hockey

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