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NA3HL - Fraser Cup Preview

March 14, 2019

 

So, a few weeks back I mentioned how the NA3HL playoffs also are screwy just like the USPHL but on a different level. 

 

If I’m the New Ulm Steel, who played in one of the toughest divisions in the league (25-18-1), if not Tier 3 level, or the Gillette Wild (23-21-2), I’d be irate that the Niagara Falls Powerhouse or the Long Beach Sharks gets the “participation trophy” playoff spot in the Fraser Cup playoffs (Niagara Falls Powerhouse went 2-43-2, Long Beach was 15-30-2).

 

So that means the two best teams according to points, the LA Nordiques and Binghamton Junior Senators who are already in their divisions, get to play them in the first round of their division playoffs best of 3 series.  I’m sure that will be fun.

 

Congrats going to the LA Nordiques for having the best record this past season. 

Also, I want to pass along a Congrats to the North Iowa Bulls for their success but the ending of their run of being the top team (Points wise) in the league for 5 straight seasons.  Talk about a powerhouse program.

 

In other news in the NA3HL, what a year makes for the Rochester program.  After being sold in the summer of 2018 and brought back in as an affiliate of the Austin Bruins, they went 31-15-1 this past season in again one of the toughest Tier 3 division.   

 

For the Frontier 1st Round of Playoffs the series will be, with my predictions:

 

Central Division

 

#1 Coulee Region vs #4 Peoria Mustangs – I’m going to have to go with Coulee here though it’s tough as the 6 games between the two have been super close, but Peoria has only had 1 win in their last 6 games, two of which were against Coulee.


#2 St. Louis Jr Blues vs #3 Milwaukee Power – Milwaukee hasn’t played a game since March 2nd, as the Jr Bolts forfeited their final 3 games of the season (though they probably would not have won) those 6 points put them in the 3rd place spot.  Their season battles were also very close but my prediction is the Jr Blues walk out with a win in this series.

 

Coastal Division

 

#1 LA Nordiques vs #4 Long Beach- Best team in the league versus a team with 15 wins all year? Nordiques.


#2 Northeast Generals vs #3 New England Stars – This one is going to be really close battle as the point difference was only 2 between the two teams.  I really want to say Stars, but I feel the Generals have just too much fire power for the Stars.

 

Frontier Division

 

#1 Helena Bighorns vs #4 Missoula Jr. Bruins – Helena has had the Bruin number all year, and they boast such a good defensive game.  Got to take the Bighorns.


#2 Great Falls Americans vs #3 Bozeman Ice Dogs – While Bozeman pretty much ended Gillette’s playoff hopes, Great Falls also has a great defensive game to complement their amazing offense.

 

Northeast Division

 

#1 Binghamton Junior Senators vs #4 Niagara Falls PowerHawks – Hmmm, 41 wins versus 2 wins? Senators take it.


#2 Oswego Stampede vs #3 Skyland Kings – Here’s my first “Upset” if you want to call it that.  Skyland has had Oswego all year, and I feel they're going to do it here.

 

South Division

 

#1 Texas Brahmas vs #4 Mid Cities Jr. Stars – Mid Cities is just a middle of the pack team, and they went 2-8 in their last 10 games.  Brahmas are just too good. So Brahmas it is.


# 2 Louisana Drillers vs #3 Atlanta Capitals – Both these teams are neck and neck, so for the sake of parity, I’m taking Capitals. 

 

West Division

 

#1 Granite City Lumberjacks vs #4 Alexandria Blizzard – While I really want to pick the Blizzard here as I think they have the possibility, I must go with Granite City. 


#2 North Iowa Bulls vs #3 Rochester Grizzlies – Again, another tough one and so difficult to pick, but I’ve got a soft spot for the city of Rochester and in this evenly toss up, I’m going with Roch.

 

-TDC

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