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Monday, April 2, 2012

Looking into the Crystal Ball: My NAHL first round picks

By: Joey Battaino


Well folks, it's almost that time to drop the puck on the 2012 NAHL playoffs. Here in the first round you really don't see too many upsets. This year, that will change.

CENTRAL


1 Bismarck Bobcats vs. 4 Aberdeen Wings


Pick: This one won't be a cake walk for Bismarck. Aberdeen has some guys that can put the puck in the net, Corey Ward in particular. Bismarck in 5

2 Alexandria Blizzard vs. 3 Austin Bruins


Pick: Doc DelCastillo's team certanily lacks size to Austin. Interesting battle between Austin forwards Kirby and Whalin and Alexandria's top D pairing of Vadim Gyesberghs and Charlie Aus. I think Austin has too much skill to lose. Austin in 4

MIDWEST


1 St. Louis Bandits vs. 4 Coulee Region Chill


Pick: No contest. St. Louis in 3

2 Janesville Jets vs. 3 Springfield Jr. Blues


Pick: Janesville plays well defensively, but Springfield's size up front will be too much for the Jets to handle. Springfield in 4

NORTH

1 Port Huron Fighting Falcons vs. 4 Michigan Warriors

Pick: Warriors must continue to bang bodies and not give Port Huron's mobile defense time to make plays. Warriors steal one at McMorran to turn the tides of the series.Warriors in 4.

2 Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings vs. 3 Traverse City North Stars

Pick: These two teams don't like each other much. Should be a battle. I like Traverse City in 5 only because of Kalamazoo's lack of consistency in goal.

SOUTH

1 Amarillo Bulls vs. 4 Odessa  Jackalopes 


Pick: Amarillo in 4. I think Connor Hellebuyck steals a game for Odessa.

2 Topeka Roadrunners vs. 3 Texas Tornado


Pick: Topeka in 5. Neither one of these teams loses at home, so with Topeka having home ice, that will be the difference in this series

WEST


1 Fairbanks Ice Dogs vs. 4 Kenai River Brown Bears


Pick: Here's my upset special. Reigning Robertson Cup Champs go down in round one at the hands of Kenai. Not sure why. I just have a feeling here. Kenai River in 4.

2 Wenatchee Wild vs. 3 Alaska Avalanche  


Pick: I don't know too much about Alaska except for they're coached by Corey Millen and he's a beauty so i'll go with Alaska in 4.

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