The Weekend Preview: On the Road to Austin

The Austin Ice Bats are back.

Previously a member of the Western Professional Hockey League and the Central Hockey League from 1996 to 2008, the newest reincarnation of the Ice Bats sees them being a junior hockey team of the NA3HL. This weekend, the Jr. Stars will make the 211 mile trip south down I-35 to the Chaparral Ice at The Crossover in Cedar Park to play spoiler in the Ice Bats league debut.

It was not a secret that last weekend’s tilt was not up to the Jr. Stars standards. Leading scorer Ilnur Madiarov stated that the game plan for this week was as simple as just “getting shots on net and playing better in the D zone.” This is coming off a weekend where the Jr. Star were outshot 203 to 85 in three games.

“There’s nowhere to go but up,” says Assistant Coach Drew Lind as he looks ahead to the task at hand this weekend. With facing a new team with no familiarity or notebook to set a game plan, Lind says the challenge is something he’s looking forward to. “It’s new ground, and I’m going to look forward to it, especially being behind the bench.”

Mid-Cities Jr. Stars General Manager Tristian Allen is also looking ahead, stating that “we should see a better team on the ice. We got some new faces coming in (to the team), and we should be confident in going into Austin and getting a win or two.” We will wait to see how many of the new faces will be on this weekend’s game day roster as they get adjusted to the team, but there is growing excitement within the organization as the roster gains that much needed depth every team strives for.

The addition of the Austin Ice Bats makes five Texas teams playing in the eight-team south division. This season, the Jr. Stars have extra company if they want to make this year’s playoffs, and it starts by winning the first half of the I-35 rivalry as other teams in the division also begin play this weekend.

South Division Standings:
1) Texas RoadRunners–6 points
2) Austin Ice Bats– 0 points
3) El Paso Rhinos–0 points
4) Atlanta Capitals–0 points
5) Oklahoma City Ice Hawks–0 points
6) Texas Brahmas–0 points
7) Louisiana Drillers–0 points
8) Mid-Cities Jr. Stars–0 points

Mid-Cities Jr. Stars Record:
Overall: 0-3-0-0
Last Ten: 0-3-0-0
Home Record: 0-0-0-0
Away Record: 0-3-0-0

Austin Ice Bats Record:
Overall: 0-0-0-0
Last Ten: 0-0-0-0
Home Record: 0-0-0-0
Away Record: 0-0-0-0

Mid-Cities Jr. Stars Leading Scorers:
Ilnur Madiarov  (2G 1A 3P)
Michael Kennedy (1G 1A 2P)
Blake Lind             (1G 0A 1P)

Austin Ice Bats Leading Scorers: