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preview 2017-02-03

Act 60

Season Twenty’s Third Act Opens with Brookings Pair
 
Matchup: Bismarck Bobcats (18-21-1) vs Brookings Blizzard (18-16-4)
Games: Friday, February 3, 7:05pm; Saturday, February 4, 7:05pm
Venues: Larson Ice Center, Brookings, S.D.
Season Series: Bobcats lead Blizzard 4-1-0
All-Time: Bobcats lead Blizzard 32-14-4
Radio: SuperTalk 1270 AM, SuperTalk1270.com and the radioPup smartphone app, 6:35pm both nights
Internet TV: http://www.HockeyTV.com, 6:35pm both nights
 
BROOKINGS, SD – Embroiled in a playoff chase with a razor-thin margin, the Bismarck Bobcats travel to Larson Ice Center for a two-game series starting Friday against the Brookings Blizzard.
 
Coming into the weekend, the Blizzard are in third place in the Central Division standings with 40 points; just three points ahead of the Bobcats in sixth place.
 
“We’re getting down to must-win time and you look at the standings and it’s easy to see that these are the biggest four [standings] points of the year on the line in Brookings,” intoned Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose team has seen Brookings five previous times in 2016-17. “There are 20 games left for us, and 11 are against either Brookings or Aberdeen; those 11 games could very well decide one playoff spot.”
 
Of the Cats’ 11 games over the next two months against the NAHL’s South Dakota entries, a whopping seven games—over one third of their remaining schedule—will come against Brookings.
 
“Before this weekend, we’ve already played Brookings five times—and things are already pretty tense,” admitted Bobcats alternate captain Nick Alexander, a member of the 2015-16 team that knocked the Blizzard out of the Robertson Cup Playoffs. “Knowing that it might come down to us or them for a playoff spot will make the next seven even more intense.”
 
Norwegian winger Tobias Fladeby continues to lead both the Bobcats and the Central Division in scoring with 41 points on 19 goals and 22 assists; fellow Scandinavian Severi Isokangas has started the last seven contests in net for the Cats, going 4-3-0 with a 2.00 GAA and a .926 SV% since arriving in a mid-January trade.
 
Rookie sensation Paul Cotter leads the Blizzard in scoring with 18 goals and 20 assists. First-year goalie Josh Boyko, who stopped 32 of 34 shots the last time the Bobcats and Blizzard met, is 15-11-3 with a 2.96 GAA and a .915 SV% in his first NAHL campaign.
 
“Boyko was tremendous [on January 21], and the big reason they were able to get a point in that game,” hailed Sedevie, a former collegiate and professional goaltender. “I told [Brookings head coach] Dan [Daikawa] after the game that I couldn’t go in their locker room and tell him he did a great job, but if I could I would. As a former goalie, you see a performance like that and tip your hat.”
 
Friday’s weekend opener will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270 AM, and worldwide on HockeyTV.com–the web television partner of the North American Hockey League–with pregame coverage starting at 6:35pm.
 
Pro-rated season tickets are now on sale for the Bobcats’ landmark platinum anniversary campaign fans can get more information or reserve their seats for all of Season Twenty now by calling 222-3300.

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