Bruins will open playoffs with Aberdeen this weekend in Riverside Arena

Published 8:11 pm Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A bulk of the roster for the Austin Bruins is about to get their first taste of the playoffs. And head coach Chris Tok hopes they’re ready.

The Bruins are coming into the NAHL playoffs, which begin against Abredeen Friday and Saturday at 7:05 p.m. in Riverside Arena, on a six-game winning streak. But the intensity of the playoffs will be new for most Austin’s roster.

Tok used the two games against the Minnesota Wilderness, which Austin won 4-1 and 5-2, to show his team what the playoffs can be like and he had his squad treat the last four games against Brookings like a five-game series. Austin outscored a Brookings team that was fighting to make the playoffs 25-4 in those four games, so the team definitely got Tok’s message.

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“There’s nothing you can do to simulate the playoffs, but I think we did the best we can to get them ready for the playoffs,” Tok said. “We tried to use the end of the season to build playoff intensity.”

The Bruins (38-11-11 overall) went 5-3 against the Wings (27-3-1-2 overall) in the regular season and Tok said they like to attack with their defense and get out on the open ice.

“The big part of their game is they like transition and speed,” Tok said. “They like to create turnovers and jump on you. Our guys have to be aware of that.”

The Bruins fought all season for home ice advantage and they’ll have it throughout the NAHL Central Division playoffs. With a 2-2-1 format in the five game series against Aberdeen, the first two games are crucial.

“It’s not do or die if we lose one, we’ve got a resilient group,” Tok said. “But you like to take care of businesses in front of your fans.”